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The Missing Lynx

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Deer, on the surface, seem like one of the most graceful and harmless animals one could come across in the UK. Any traveller on a British railway will be familiar with seeing the fragile-looking mammal graze upon a verdant field. Yet, as unassuming as they may seem deer pose perhaps the greatest threat to the biodiversity of the country. Essentially, without any natural predators – except ourselves – they have been allowed to breed and feed unhindered. Despite attempts to cull a sufficient proportion of them each year in order to maintain the semblance of natural predation their population continues to rise. This year it is estimated that around two million deer survive in the forests and countryside of Great Britain; a vastly unsustainable number.

It’s not that deer are inherently damaging animals. Rather, the over abundance of any creature is detrimental to a natural world that requires balance in order to be sustainable – as is proven by the rapacious effect our own species has had on the planet. Too many deer harm the diversity of precious woodland habitats and spoil suitable environments for other species, particularly migrant songbirds like the nightingale. Not to mention their habit of destroying sapling trees and causing thousands of road accidents a year. Should their population continue to explode these problems will accelerate. The remaining British wilderness exists in an unnatural state where deer hold dominion over the land. The king of the British forest is a reclusive herbivore. Hardly an exciting prospect for the growing ecotourism industry, is it?

So, what’s the solution?

Currently the measures being implemented to control the UK deer population are ineffective and the philosophy behind them troubling. The British Deer Society, a charity claiming to promote the existence and sustainability of deer for the generations to come, have written on their website a peculiar phrase:    ‘…our requirements take precedence over those of other creatures, and truly “wild” habitats no longer exist in Britain’

The BDS evidently believe in the philosophy that has caused this mess in the first place: that we matter more than the animals we share the planet with. Restricting nature to convenient corrals like parks and fenced in forests is not really how one goes about creating ‘truly wild’ habitats. Deer are not cattle. They have been able to procreate so freely because throughout history we have scourged the British land of its natural predators and replaced them with livestock. Yet, as natural disasters and global warming related problems prove, despite our technological intelligence we are still very much at the mercy of nature. This issue of deer overpopulation is no different. Even the most prolific deerstalker will not be able to solve this problem with brute force. In order to find a solution a new philosophy is needed.

Lo and behold, this month saw the launch of the charity Rewilding Britain. The charity actively campaigns for the reintroduction of several species into the UK: from wolves to wild boar. In creating a more diverse ecological landscape they hope to rebuild the natural processes that over-time the British wilderness has lost. From supporting the establishment of areas seabed to be made free from dredging and trawling to new methods of farming that allow animals to roam freely around estates, Rewilding Britain take a wholly different view than the BDS does of how we should form a relationship with the environment. Of course, the concept of rewilding is driven by human intervention and could, therefore, be argued to be unnatural. However, if human intervention banished these habitats and species from Britain in the first place then surely it should be our responsibility to bring them back. Though rewilding isn’t just an apologetic conservation ideal. It could actually solve some of the UK’s most pressing environmental problems, like deer.

Enter the Eurasian lynx: an elusive, carnivorous feline that could once have kept the deer population in Britain within sustainable levels. Since its departure the only things killing deer in this country have been the

landed gentry, unsuspecting motorists, disgruntled farmers or people carrying out controlled culls (which, as the Deer Initiative have admitted, are largely feckless pursuits in actually controlling the population). A 2013 study stated that in order for the deer population to remain within sustainable levels in Britain up to 50% of the population would have to be shot each year. That works out, at current estimates, at around 1 million deer every year; a monumental task even for the most ardent hunter.

Rewilding Britain propose that instead of exerting the enormous amount of effort and financial resources such a gigantic cull would require, we simply allow the laws of nature to solve the problem for us. If deer have no natural predators then lets introduce one: the lynx.

This isn’t exactly a new idea. Lynx have been re-introduced to several habitats across Europe after human impact pushed them out and the Lynx UK Trust are currently attempting to get the go-ahead for a trial re-introduction to Britain. However, should this come closer to becoming a reality it can be guaranteed that sceptics would begin to make their voices heard. Despite the evident benefits lynx could provide to the UK wilderness – from managing the deer population to adding much needed diversity to our forests – already doubts are being broadcast by academics and farmers alike. The latter group will surely campaign for a compensation system, even though lynx have been found to be responsible for the mortality of less that 0.5% of the total number of available sheep in a given area (far less than deaths caused by disease). Professor Chris Thomas at the University of York has also stated that the endangered capercaillie could be under threat should lynx be introduced, although he provided no evidence for such an assumption in his article on the BBC News website. If the Lynx UK Trust begin to garner more success doubts such as these will only become more numerous.

It seems to me that the human race has a great deal to atone for when it comes to the environment. We’re directly responsible for the extinction of several species; we continually destroy wilderness in order to make way for houses with bare, lifeless gardens; we do not even respect the creatures around us enough to know their names as common knowledge. If we can make up for our plethora of ruinous errors, if only a little, then I see no justifiable barriers as to why the lynx should not be re-introduced into Britain. Plus, who wouldn’t love to catch sight of a pointy-eared predator skulking through a British forest? It’s a hell of a lot more exciting than seeing deer through the window of a train.

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Environment

Saving the Planet? It Is a Local Issue

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When we get caught up in common environmental issues, we start to think that it’s a bigger problem, that is down to centralised areas and big cities. And while urban areas are expanding, the route to sustainability as a solution comes from an approach beyond urbanism. Because urban areas bear the brunt because they have more CO2 emissions and larger carbon footprints, the thing to note in this respect that saving the planet is not necessarily a large-scale issue. In fact, it is a local issue. 

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The largest cities require urban developments, and this is a part of modern life. But when we go back to the 1990s, when sustainable city initiatives began emerging, we can see where the argument for the compact city began. This can have a positive impact on sustainability in a variety of ways but also improves greenhouse gas emissions. But this is where smaller communities can become invaluable. 

Smaller communities have more power in many respects. From the perspective of local councils, it can be easier to incorporate an initiative that benefits the community, rather than having to go all the way to Westminster. Now, it can be easier to sign up for a local initiative, such as a solar community, rather than having to get permission from a higher power. And from the perspective of a community, it is far more controllable.

Saving the planet in an urban sense is about changing the infrastructure, which can take years, if not decades. However, smaller communities are able to utilise the location for the benefit of their immediate surroundings. This is something very important to note. Whenever you want to make a significant impact, be it in charity, or in the environment, it starts at home. As saving the planet is a local issue in this respect, it’s far easier to communicate the message. Smaller communities are in close contact. This means the message is easily spread. Throw into the mix community meetings, and how businesses look to develop on local issues, rather than spearheading initiatives overseas or in big cities, and it provides a tactical methodology to help on a small scale. 

When you combine this with the fact that smaller organisations such as schools, naturally have a lower carbon footprint, this is the perfect opportunity to teach the younger generations how they can positively impact the world. Saving the planet is a local issue. We have to remember that if we are to make any impact, we have to look after our own. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t rely on large organisations or big cities to do the job, but if you want to do something right, do it yourself. 

Saving the planet is something that we can control from our own home. From the practices that we preach to the examples we set, saving the planet is about keeping it close to home before you start to spread yourself far and wide. If every small town started to look after its own carbon emissions, this would pay for the country, and the world, several times over.

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Integrating Waste Management To Improve Business Productivity

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Recently, governments have increased their incentives on business to employ environmentally friendly methods in their production lines. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that businesses are working round the clock to ensure that they adhere to the regulations.

Business waste management requires a collective effort from all the stakeholders. The employees and customers need to be sensitized on the importance of environmentally friendly practices to boost their eco-performance. 

Reduce Wastage

Production in business usually has many wastes ranging from energy wastage, residues, or solid wastes. You need to assess your production plan from purchasing, production, documentation, and packaging. Once you have assessed, identify the key areas that you can work on to minimize usage and wastage.

Packaging

It would be best if you considered using biodegradable packaging materials that will reduce paper wastage. There are packaging materials that you can use that will help you cut on paper and plastic wastage. You can also choose to bulk purchase of materials needed to reduce the amount of packaging paper you will have.

Electrical Systems

In the past, electrical wires were manufactured using cloth wires to enhance insulation, longevity, and safety in the workplace. You easily damage the wires during daily production activities, and its disposal could create large volumes of unnecessary plastics. 

Though you can recycle these wastes, the costs incurred compared to the systems’ service is a loss to the business. However, this industrial practice has been discontinued and restructured to alternative uses due to technological advancements.

Energy Sources

Using Renewable Energy Sources also plays a significant role in reducing energy wastage. There will be fewer emissions into the environment, and you will also reduce the energy costs you use. The employees need to be sensitized on efficient energy management practices like switching off machines and lights that are not in use, proper usage of specific equipment, and immediate repair and service of machines once they break down.

Building and Construction

Contractors involved in building and construction have included energy and environmental management in their practice. Several businesses have taken the liberty to redesign the buildings to use efficient energy sources and recycled materials. This development is a step in the right direction of environmental management.

Solid Wastes 

The wastes in the business need to be properly disposed of to observe hygiene and cleanliness. Poor garbage disposal techniques will endanger the health of the employees and the immediate community.

It would help if you employed recycling techniques like water treatment plants in the industry to reduce the toxicity of the waste. The types of strainers, baskets, and traps used in the water treatment plant play a significant role in the quality of the process equipment.

To ascertain the water treatment plant’s quality, you need to take a keen interest in the types of weaving employed in its manufacture. Be sure to investigate if the weaving matches your purpose of the plant and your content of waste. 

Waste management is a gradual process that has its profitable returns. It helps you to cut down on some costs and increases productivity. 

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How To Save Water At Work

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When you’re at home, you know how to save water and do better for your house. Living in a green way is easy at home, but what about at work? When you are not the owner of a business premises, it’s not always easy to be green. However, there are things that you can do as a business that will ensure that you are analyzing your water efficiency and you can then reduce the water use in your workplace.

Below, we’ve put together some of the best ways that you can conserve water in your workplace. You can continue your green efforts in the workplace this way!

Get Your Management Team On Your Side

If you are planning to start water conservation efforts at work, you need the rest of your management team on your side. They need to be happy to work with you and ensure that your water conservation efforts are successful. If you’re working as one team, you’re far more likely to save the planet a little aggravation and you can successfully prevent flooding, too.

Research 

You need to know the best ways to conserve water, and we’re willing to bet that you haven’t looked at whether you can get permission from your landlord about installing water tanks from  watertankfactory.com.au/water-tanks-dalby/. You need to research what you can and cannot do in terms of saving water in any way possible. 

Put Together A List

You need to know why you are saving water and what it will be for. Filtering rainwater for free, drinkable water in the office is a genius way to keep employees cool. You can also use it for the external garden of your business, as a way to flush the toilets and you can also use it to clean the floors. 

Know How You Already Use Your Water

How does your business consume water? Where is it mostly used through the working week? If you can ensure that you are using your water properly, you will be able to encourage your staff to do the same thing. Conservation only works when everyone is on board!

Bring In The Experts

Do you have leaky faucets? Are you dealing with pipes that are broken or cracked in any way? Any of these things can cause your water payments to shoot right up. Bringing in the experts to assess your current water systems and evaluate your pipework is the best way to ensure that you are saving water. You can stop the waste when you have someone in to assess what you are dealing with.

Save It

By buying rainwater tanks and saving the rainfall, you can use less of the water from the faucets and the pipes in the building. You can add a good filtration system and this will help you to get rid of the nasties in the water and reduce the contaminants that you could be facing.

Water conservation is not just for your house. And now you know how to get it right!

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