Author Archives: Matt

Fit Legs: World’s Best Treks

Going on a trek and that has both difficult terrain and asubstantial distance is quite understandably not on top of many a traveler’s ‘must-do’ list. Yet, they give you a chance to see the landscape and experience and understand every aspect of the region like nothing else does. It is precisely for this reason that hiking trails are renowned across the globe. Of course you have to be both super fit and enthusiastic to undertake on one of these monumental journeys that will give you a lifetime of great memories.

Inca Trail – Peru

The Inca Trail in Peru is without a doubt one of the most popular trails on the planet and many travelers and gladly embark on this 33km trek, not just for the amazing views that it offers but also because of the grand destination at the end of it all- the Machu Picchu. Winding around lofty mountains and set amidst famous ancient ruins and cloud forests, this lives up to all the hype that surrounds it.

GR20 – France

Linking the Calenzana with Conca the GR20 in France is the ultimate rush for most trekking enthusiasts. The arduous 15-day hike will give you a glimpse of a wide variety of terrain that includes almost everything that you can ask for. From snow-clad peaks to vast beautiful plains and from glacial lakes to valleys and craters, this 168 km trek has everything packed into one as it is both challenging and unforgettable.

Routeburn Track – New Zealand

New Zealand holidays might not normally include a trek that sees you pass through two national parks and get an unparallel view of the country’s Southern Alps. But the Routeburn Track offers you a three-day and 32Km-long journey that allows you to explore both the Fiordland and Mt Aspiring National Parks.

Everest Base Camp – Nepal

If you are looking for a trek that will give you a new high and offer you a breathtaking experience, then this is it; quite literally! Ending at an altitude of 5,545m, this three-week trek takes you to the base of the world’s tallest peak and that is surely an achievement in itself. Of course, when you have the Himalayas and Mount Everest for backdrop you are pretty much guaranteed stunning scenery.

Pays Dogon – Mali

If you want to experience the ingenious lifestyle of the people in this region of Africa and enjoy a beautiful trek that will take you through soaring cliffs and back into the heart of humanity’s cradle, then this is it. Old and abandoned cliff dwellings will greet you along the way while traveling through the region can vary anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks depending on your interest and the time you have on hand.

Going green: energy efficiency tips when heating and cooling your home

The rising cost of utility bills means everyone wants to reduce the amount they spend on heating their home in winter and cooling it in summer. There are several ways to make your property more energy efficient, so here are a few tips to help get you started.

Insulation

Having proper insulation for your loft and walls could save you more than you might think on your heating bills. Where walls are concerned, you’ll need to find out whether your home has solid or cavity walls. With the former, you can choose between internal or external insulation, while with the latter, insulation is fitted in the gap between the two layers of your walls.

Meanwhile, loft insulation can save you a significant sum, as around one-quarter of the heat generated in your house will be lost through this part of the home. As it’s relatively cheap to install – normally between £100 and £350 for the whole property according to the Energy Saving Trust – you could get your money back within two years.

This works the other way too, as in the summer having insulation will help keep cool air inside your home.

Consider your windows

There are some simple changes you can make to your habits that can make your heating and cooling efforts more effective. For instance, in the winter, you should close your curtains or blinds around dusk to prevent heat escaping through your windows. In the summer, keeping curtains drawn during the day can stop the sun’s light from heating a room, helping it stay cooler.

You should also check for draughts around your windows and reseal them if you can feel air getting in anywhere. If you are using air conditioning equipment  in the summer, keep the windows closed, as you want to prevent your cooled, climate-controlled air escaping outside.

Temperature control

Turning your thermostat down by one degree can save around ten per cent on your heating bill, so if you can cope with your house being a little cooler in the winter it is well worth doing. Similarly, setting your air conditioning unit one or two degrees higher in the summer while you are out of the house will stop it using too much energy to cool a home no one is in.

Use a programmable thermostat to help you set the temperature depending on your schedule. That way, you can ensure the heating or air conditioning is only on when people are at home and isn’t using unnecessary energy at times when there is nobody around.

Another tip to save energy and prevent your cooling system working too hard is to reduce the fan setting on your air conditioner. This has the added benefit of removing the humidity from the air, which will make your home more comfortable in hot weather.

Check your vents

If you have an air conditioning system in your home it is important to regularly check the ducts and vents to ensure there is no damage to them. Even small holes or cracks can make a difference to the performance of your unit, so it is worth being certain you don’t have any defects. You also need to replace your filter whenever it looks dirty, as a build-up of dust and grime will mean your system needs to work harder to cool your property.

Fleet management to be the key for EV Revolution

There is absolutely no doubt that the electric vehicle revolution is just in its infancy and while promotion agencies are already going gaga about how good driving an EV is, there are many that still are not convinced about their practicality.

The problem with the purchase of EVs is not so much the lack of interest or even the ability of car makers to produce quality vehicle in this class, but the absence of a supporting infrastructure that will assure owners that all is well. And Fleet management might be one of the keys to the success of the electric vehicle revolution in the years to come, if the necessary concerns are addressed.

One of the key aspects of fleet management is a vehicle tracking system and with improving technology, cheaper hardware and better software at hand, this aspect of fleet management has become far more advanced and affective than ever before.

This has meant that fleet management is now an area of greater significance than ever before and companies are now far more interested in having dedicated units and hiring experts who will help them in this field. And appealing to this sector will help increase the demand of EV sales exponentially.

One that that is already in their favor is the Plug-in Car Grants and tax cuts that the government offers for the ‘green vehicles’. What needs to be improved though is vehicle recharge pints and their number which will assure that they are not left high and dry on the road. Also essential is a chain of retail that will help fleet managers sell the used EVs effectively after their lifetime is done. Currently the market for used EVs is almost non-existent and hence proves to be major setback for EVs when it comes to becoming effective investment options.

Tracking vehicles and managing both infrastructure and fuel costs help companies immensely and being part of such efficient fleets will help the future of EVs greatly.

Global warming has caused the current wave of cold in Europe?

It sounds paradoxical, however scientists are capable to explain the harsh winter that now overwhelms Europe by melting of large masses of ice in the Arctic, melting which is a result of global warming.

Complex characteristics of the wind were disturbed by the ice melting Arctic, scientists believe, it considers that it is cold explanation that hit Europe in recent weeks and has killed over 200 people.

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NASA measured the incredible pace that glaciers melt

NASA satellites performed the first measurement to see the exact rate of glaciers melting on Earth. The results show that 150 billion tons of ice disappear annually, rising ocean levels by 4 millimeters.

The study measured glaciers between 2003 and 2010. NASA specialists announced that between the years studied, the Earth has lost 4.3 trillion tons of ice, ocean levels rising by 12 mm. To illustrate the huge amount of ice melted over the years, NASA explained that it would have been sufficient to cover all over the United States of America with a layer of ice 50 centimeters thick.

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Australia Wants to Get Elephants

Australia has a long and painful experience with alien species introduced by humans, who have profoundly affected the ecological balance of the continent. However, David Bowman, professor of ecology at the University of Tasmania, suggests that a possible solution to serious environmental problems in Australia would be … introduction of new alien species.

In a study published in the journal Nature, David Bowman explains that large areas of land in the country are extremely difficult to control situations such as natural fire extension and spread of invasive species of plants and animals.

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Dark Side of vegetables: black tomatoes!

Israelis farmers have created a kind of tomato with a red interior, but with a very dark skin color, which darkens as tomatoes ripen in the sun.

The researchers crossed wild varieties cultivated varieties of tomato, resulting in a new variety with striking aspect in color almost black fruit (botanically speaking, what we call “red” are fruits of the plant).

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Country in the Pacific, Tuvalu remains without drinking water

Tuvalu, a small island country located in the Pacific Ocean, declared a state of emergency following a drinking water crisis. Officials said that in some areas of the country, drinking water stocks have ran out .

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister said that his country has worked with the Red Cross to send aid in Tuvalu. Two military aircraft C-130 type were sent to Tuvalu, carrying them on board two water desalination units and numerous containers containing water.

Secretary General of the Red Cross warned the people of Tuvalu not to drink water from wells. “This water is not good for consumption, we have already received several reports that the animals drank water from wells that have died,” he said.

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Birds Migration Influenced by Climate Change

Climate change affects the behavior of traveling birds: geese, ducks and swans spend their winters in wetlands of northern Europe changes its habits of migration as temperatures rise.

British experts say, because many of the birds no longer migrate north to the south of the continent, the number of specimens of species once common as winter guests is now declining in the UK.

Researchers at the University of Helsinki conducted a study based on data provided by the Observatory of birds in Hanko, Finland. Here, since 1979, several volunteers have followed the birds daily, making a “census migration”.

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Arctic Ice Melting, Unprecedented Event in The Last 1450 Years

The most detailed study of water in the North announced that the melting of Arctic ice in the last 50 years is an unprecedented event in the last 1450 years.

Moreover, statistics show that so far has never been a wave of melting never to lie so long a period.

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Earth Becoming an Increasingly Hot Planet

By 2100, the world’s energy consumption will lead to warming of the Earth with 6 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial, said Fatih Briol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, the UN conference on climate change that takes place these days in Durban, South Africa.

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Extreme Solution Against Global Warming: Painting Mountains White!

The Andes Mountains, a team of ecologists fight climate change with a novel way to conserve water glaciers and on which a community of shepherds in Peru.

Community includes 900 people and lives of the increase in alpaca blades (photo) on mountain pastures.

Grass pasture development depends on the amount of available water and the water comes from snow and ice on the mountain.

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