How To Make Your Apartment Eco-Friendly

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Home-owners, it seems, always have all the fun in making their homes more eco-friendly with their lawns and backyards and whatnot. However, this does not mean renters don’t get to enjoy this fun yet helpful activity too!

Although apartments don’t offer much space unlike houses do, this must not stop you from making your apartment and your stuff friendly to the environment.

Here are 5 ways in getting the job done:

Recycle properly

There are some apartment buildings that offer recycling solutions monthly and some that don’t. If your apartment doesn’t recycle, you can ask your landlord about it and perhaps convince the other tenants as well to recycle the proper way. If your apartment does recycle, then you just have to be aware of the recycling rules and most importantly, the right materials. Recycling the wrong materials definitely causes more waste than you’d think.

Alternatively, you can drop off your recyclable materials to your city recycling center. For materials like plastic bags and glass that don’t normally go through the recycling service, you can also just drop them off at the grocery store for them to reuse.

Reduce food waste

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Every year, Americans throw 63 million tons of food away, and this number increases especially during the holidays. Society nowadays is problematic – we buy more than we need, and the food excess will be left rotten while other people in the world are in need of them.

Having an apartment does not exactly give you the right to control everything. Sometimes you just have to take matters into your own hands and start looking for ways on how to be eco-friendly. One of the many great ways to start is minimizing your food waste – the most environmentally adverse habit we’re all guilty of. To do so, begin with only buying what you need and what you’ll consume but you have to ensure the expiry dates so you’d know when to use them. Also, store your food in the right way to prevent them from being spoiled before their expiry dates. This is also good for leftovers so you can eat them afterwards at the right time!

In addition to that, having compost bins sitting right on your kitchen counter is also a good way to go. Even though you don’t have a garden to use it with, this is a better option than throwing your food waste away in the trash. Alongside recycling and regulating trash, waste management centers also offer a drop-off composting facility. If you have this option, then you must take advantage of this.

Control the temperature naturally

Minimizing the usage of your heating and cooling system is another great way to make your apartment home more eco-friendly without making any major changes. Although it may be a little bit demanding to put on extra socks and layers, it is a good habit that is beneficial not only for the environment but for you as well. Contributing something to protect the environment is a pretty good feeling, and you won’t have to pay a portion of the bills every month!

Here are some tips to keep your home warm without using the heater:

  • Cover windows with clear insulation film
  • Use cloth draft stoppers
  • Use thermal window curtains
  • Opt for energy providers like solar and wind

Clean green

Instead of using commercial cleaning products with adverse chemical effects that support capitalism, you can use salt, baking soda, borax, and the classic wonder cleaner, vinegar as alternatives. To make this even more eco-friendly, purchase these items in biodegradable packaging for you to reuse later on such as spray bottles.

However, always keep in mind that some surfaces might be too sensitive for these things. They can sometimes cause a chemical reaction that you and your landlord wouldn’t be so happy to find.

Upgrade light bulbs

LED light bulbs, having acquired quick popularity, not only use less energy to operate, but also waste less energy. It is an absolute waste to have ordinary light bulbs in your home as they produce more heat than light. They can also be dangerous. However, LEDs, while producing more light than heat, lasts up to 25 times longer. They are much cheaper and safer which obviously wins as the right to reside in an eco-friendly home.

Even if you don’t have a yard and can’t choose the materials you want used in your apartment, you can still get in on the sustainable household trends too and not just home-owners! By following these simple steps, you protect the environment thus you protect humanity. Do your part for Mother Nature!

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What Must You Do in Choosing Green Furniture?

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We utilize furniture in different places. This act is not only constrained to our homes yet also in our offices. Provided that as of now we are encountering huge issues about our environment, it turns out to be the responsibility of every person to perform their part. This article will be your guides in assisting you to comprehend what considerations must you take in choosing furniture that are eco-friendly and offer you a great idea in regards to different materials you can utilize if you like to go green.

Eco-friendly materials you can consider choosing.

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As of now, the market is packed with furniture manufactured from recycled materials like metal, textiles, and timber. Also, you can also seek for materials like plastic and bamboo. Even though materials such as plastic and bamboos are long lasting and trustworthy, you still do have some options accessible in the market which are also certified eco-friendly. Materials like Rubber, Cork, Straw, Hamp and ever Mycelium are a great means of getting eco-friendly and durable furniture.

How do these materials emerge and how do they be known as sustainable?

There are particular items or products that transpire in the landfill that do more bad compared to good towards our environment. In the act of reducing, there are a few companied that utilize different types of left overs or scraps and transform them into sustainable furniture. These could be parts from big boats, trucks, planes, etc.

With the assistance of the local resources and assets, the makers who deal with sustainable furniture utilize these various parts and transform them into green furniture. After manufacturing, they are sold in the markets and end up at our offices or homes.

Functionality factors of eco-friendly furniture.

The drive of choosing for such strategy isn’t just to reach the consumer’s demands. Individuals who choose such furniture consider the lightness and flexibility as well to prevent the additional transportation burden. This is because the manufacturing companies and makers are attempting to provide the increasing necessities of the population. With eco-friendly furniture, it definitely makes sure that the constrained spaces are reduced.

You can also build one.

If you are fond of being creative and want to create new things on your own, then you must not worry regarding purchasing furniture that is readymade. As an alternative, you can fairly make your part through opting to create and design your personal furniture with whatever you have with you.

As a matter of fact, if you really try doing this, you’re not just assisting the environment; you also save a lot of cash. There are different Do-It-Yourself ideas accessible, that promotes people to create their personal furniture. These DIY designs can be changed and enhanced according to your preferences and what kind of customized furniture you want. All you have to do is to consider what type of materials you need in making one, follow the mentioned instructions and design your own furniture the way you want.

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Six Steps to being eco-friendly while saving money

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For every passing day, the world witnessed several births of people who are concern about the Mother Earth. But there’s always a dying down of interest and perseverance to keep the cause alive. This is because the projects or advocacy they try to manage at the fly of the moment becomes too ambitious for people to achieve when added to their daily life.

Listed below are six steps to help us stiffen our conviction in assisting the Earth for its survival without damaging or altering our personal lives. These steps are relatively to do, making it convenient and realistic.

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  1. Save Energy

Saving energy is relatively easy, with the most obvious method of turning off every appliance that consumes power or electricity that is not currently at use. Just switch off every unused light that you could see, turn off the air conditioner at moments it is not necessary and free those outlets from unused devices. We must do this because keeping your chargers plugged in could drain electricity even if they are not used. This way, you could save money quickly.

  1. Going Paperless in Every Aspect

To start going paperless, we should opt for electronic services that do not involve in printing our bills. Instead of using the monthly bank statements that consist of the use of paper, we should optimize the use of electronic statements that go to our email. This could help save much paper and properly organize your statements in your email, accessible whenever and wherever you need it.

  1. Be a Laundry Wizard

Laundry is something that we do on a daily basis, and because it is so, we have to consider that it takes a huge toll on our electricity bill.  But little did you know that there is actually a way you could reduce the energy consumption a little bit, it would make a huge impact in the long run. To do so, use cold water in doing laundry because it requires a lesser amount of energy then refrain from using dry cycle. Instead, let the sun dry it out for you to stop the use of dryers completely. Lastly, hand-wash every delicates as much as possible.

  1. Refrain the Use of Commercial Cleaners

There are many eco-friendly chemical cleaning products currently accessible and available on the market. But the question of validity and legitimacy of such products never stops, why not create our own eco-friendly cleaning products? Home-made cleaners are very cheap and legitimate since you actually know the ingredients and would never doubt the validity of its greenness.

  1. Say No to Supermarket Organics

Organic products give us a pretense that it is the best method for going eco-friendly all the while saving up our money. Instead of purchasing organics from supermarkets, how about going to any local market near your location for a better version of these produce that is also authentically organic but costs less. Because its locally-sourced, there’s less fuel that is consumed to distribute the goods to the market. With less fuel consumed, there is also less pollution and saving our environment at the same time.

  1. Discarding the Disposables

There is no denying that recycled merchandise is all right, but they cost too much money that would eventually just be thrown away. How about discarding the disposables for good and select the more durable utensils that could be reused for many times? Why purchase disposable cups when we could use a rather sturdy cup that could be reused as long as you want it to be. Let us reduce the garbage level by not using disposables.

The methods listed above are the most straightforward steps that we could apply to our daily lives, helping Mother Earth and saving money at the same time. Let us not be selfish here and think about our environment more than the leisure of easy laundry, cleaning and shopping. This way, we could help the planet by being eco-friendly in these simple yet easy steps. For progress in saving our environment, we have to give up the simple leisure of our daily lives. Integrate this into your daily life, and I’m sure you are already helping in saving our planet.

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Major Climate Issues

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Several key environmental concerns brought on by global warming keep on showing up in numerous debates and opinionated discussions because of the natural disasters which keep on happening. At this particular time, serious property damage and loss of a large number of lives have been caused by flash floods, hurricanes, typhoons, droughts and numerous other disasters. And professionals and researchers point out that these significant environmental concerns are induced by absolutely no other than global climate change. If you need to get trees removed you should look for a tree service in san francisco that knows how to properly remove trees without damage the world.

What’s Global Climate Change?

Before you comprehend what climate change is or even attempt to learn much more of the climate change facts you believe you have to know, it is important first for you to know what the phrase climate means.

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Climate is not the same as the word weather. Although they are different, some individuals may interchange these two terms. Weather is what we describe the condition of the atmosphere for a specific time, moment, or day, like for example; we have a sunny weather today. On the other hand, the term climate is what we use to describe the particular atmospheric condition on a specified period like in a whole season, month, or year. To put it briefly, the weather is unique.

In different places of the planet, there is a certain climate. Climates are impacted by particular modifications in the planet brought about by volcanic eruptions, solar radiation, plate tectonics, among others. Nevertheless, with all of the human activities on the planet now where carbon dioxide emissions are rising. The ozone layer is becoming weaker and this is vital protecting the planet of ours from the dangerous rays of the sun, global climate change is going on fast.

The international climate change, in turn, has the results to take to the planet as well as the humanity. And while all those present environmental concerns are happening today, we can say the consequences are not as great for us.

The Major Environmental Issues Because of Climate Change

What exactly are some environmental issues that individuals are speaking about today? The following is a summary of green concerns that individuals are talking about over nowadays all due to the tragic incidences happening in the atmosphere due to climate change.

climate change - Major Climate Issues

1. Depletion of Ozone

Ozone can serve as the blanket of Earth against the sun’s powerful, dangerous rays. Nevertheless, since 1980’s where industrialization began to flourish in many places and human activities and many industries create growing amount of halocarbons, the ozone gas even began to deplete. Halocarbons very high in the catalysts are produced by the environment to ozone layer destruction. This is among the extremely discussed major environmental problems today.

2. Water and Air Pollution

Another one of the substantial green problems, our seas and atmosphere wherein life may be placed in danger are destroyed by contamination in air and water.

3. Changes in Ecosystem

Due to climate change in which lots of areas or maybe areas are encountering changing environments, biodiversity also changes, in case not disappears. Animals and insects set up their home in a more significant place in which the weather is colder. Plant life would also quit growing in areas not sufficiently hydrated. Proof of this is the rainforests being slowly turned into savannahs over the years.

These are just several of the influences of climate change which have been getting a great deal of interest now. There are also the subjects of deforestation, nuclear issues, and soil erosion. All of these problems direct towards climate change, which is certainly among probably the hottest major green problems on the planet today.

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It’s Their Endangered World Too: How Global Warming Has Affected European Wildlife

monkey endangered - It's Their Endangered World Too: How Global Warming Has Affected European Wildlife

Isn’t it funny how everyone claims to love animals yet very little of us care about how our actions affect their lives? Today, we discuss how European wildlife has been drastically affected by global warming. Humans aren’t the only living things on this planet. We live our lives breathing the same air as the animal kingdom.

Our actions affect them in ways that most people don’t realize. You’ve probably seen videos of sea turtles whose shells did not develop well because they swam into soda rings. You’ve even probably seem videos about the effects of oil spills on avian life. What most people tend to not remember is the drastic effect that man-made global warming has on animals.

Weather extremes wipe out their food

Droughts kill plant life. The drastic lack of plant life causes the death of herbivores. The death of herbivores means that carnivores do not have food either. It’s a vicious path that we’ve sadly seen before.

Ocean acidification really messes up plankton populations. If you do not realize, plankton is the preferred food of millions of species of marine life. If the plankton doesn’t grow properly, a cascade occurs that will end up hurting humans in the long-run.

Shifting climate destroys habitats

If you ever wanted to see how fast climate change can affect our ecosystem, go look at some corals. Coral bleaching is a response to severely warm temperatures. In certain areas in the world, coral bleaching has gotten so bad that over 70% of corals simply die.

When corals die, fish have nowhere to live. When the ice caps melt because of global warming, this raises the sea levels. When sea levels go up, they can error beaches and shores wherein sea turtles lay their eggs.

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Which animals are most at risk?

In a general sense, all of them are at risk. However, there are some that truly risk dying out more than others. Some of these are: polar bears and sea turtles.

Something truly needs to be done

This is the only planet we have and the animals we share the planet with don’t have much of a choice on where they live. So if we continuously disregard our environment, we slowly but surely build up the ways in which we decide to kill off ourselves and our planet.

If you have any causes near and dear to your heart, share them with us!

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Smart Grid: Is This The Solution To Global Warming?

smart grid - Smart Grid: Is This The Solution To Global Warming?

Are you familiar with the concept of the Smart Grid? Join us today as we explore the theories, practical applications, and its relativity to the topic of Global Warming.

What is the Smart Grid?

The smart grid is known as the application of digital tech to the electric power sector. It consists of a host of technologies that are built together in order to be able to fully run diagnostic on its own system. Smart Grids are made to improve not only the performance but also the way electric grids could be accessed and modified.

Smart Grids have been the favorite topic of energy symposium for the last decade or so. One thing that makes them so different for previously existing electrical grids is that the “smart” grids are packed with various software to efficiently link the operation of the energy source.

Special characteristics

  • Integrated Communications
  • Advanced Control Methods
  • Evolved Interface and Support
  • Automatic Meter Reading or Advanced Metering Infrastructure

What is meant by automatic meter reading?

In the aim to provide a seamless and intelligent system, the AMR grants permission for utility providers to directly access electricity, water, and gas meters. It does away with the need to send personnel to do a physical reading of the user’s meters per month. The same is accomplished regarding connection and disconnection.

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What does a smart grid have to do with global warming?

Smart Grinds are ideally able to reduce greenhouse gasses in different ways. It helps regulates the voltage received by your system. Smart grids are often operated at a lower voltage in order to avoid distribution losses.

While it does not promise to remove climate change for you, it will definitely slow global warming’s advancement. This smart system is made specifically to adapt and learn in order to develop better ways to mitigate climate change.

As a smart grid does away with the necessity of physically sending someone to read meters or address issues, it severely cuts down air pollution cause by the transportation system of engineers.

What else can a smart grid do?

Smart grids come with digital metering. These meters have software that notifies your utility provider in the event of a power outage. Having a digital meter does away with the necessary computations that may baffle the everyday end user. Instead, all the data can be presented seamlessly. This empowers users to tweak their energy consumption as they see fit. An old issue was to just do what you can and pray the next bill was lower. The Smart Grid lets users manage their home completely, finding out which is connected and which consumes most power.

Smart Grids are the future and it will allow an efficient integration of renewable energy services systems. They are also designed to be “self-healing” this is in the sense that they are able to conduct their own internal diagnosis to determine vulnerabilities and correct the issues. When there’s certainly a lot more things to do in life, having one less thing to think and worry about is always welcome.

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European Stubbornness at its Best: The Nations That Refuse to Budge

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Today, we take a closer look at European nations who are sticking to their guns. By guns, we mean their sources of unsustainable energy production.

A majority of Europe have agreed to ratify the Paris Agreement. However, not all members of the EU are following suit and are lagging behind.

Who, you may ask?

 One of these nations is France. This nation alternates between digging in their heels and putting forth the mandates given to them.

In Bosnia, there are 4 coal plants that are still operation. The residents have complained of the pollution for years but to no avail. Now, there are more plans toward more coal sites; 7 of them, in fact. Studies done regarding their proposed additional coal sites have given the figures of an 18% increase in harmful emissions. Despite the additional health risks of these new coal sites, Bosnian locals are not shying away from taking jobs in these sites.

Residents of Tuzla express that while renewable energy is still being perfected, there are no other jobs available. Therefore, they take the coal sites job with reservations.

The United Kingdom, while showing some promise, still lags behind other countries. However, since the Brexit fiasco, they are no longer really obliged to hit the target for 2020. The Netherlands, as of 2015, has only accomplished 5.8 of the goal of 14.

While there are only three years to go regarding the 2020 goal, everyone is waiting to see what the other lagging nations are planning to do.

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 Not all is lost. There are heroes.

There are now at least eleven EU nations who have managed to meet their 2020 targets. These nations are: Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Finland, and several others.

Global Warming is the very thing that the European guideline for Renewable Energy 2020 goal is trying to address. By lowering the collective emissions of the EU, they hope to significantly slash the speed in which global warming is progressing.

As the noticeable effects of global warming continue to propagate, it is ultimately more and more necessary to adhere to stricter rules regarding the lessening of carbon emissions.  As the USA has pulled out from the Paris Agreement, it will be Europe’s responsibility to blaze the path toward clean and sustainable energy.

It is wonderful how the concepts of green energy, global warming, and sustainability are all intertwined. One cannot unravel without the others. It’s a balance that must be met and maintained. In order to lessen the rapid advancement of global warming, people as a whole do need to start taking steps toward more sustainable living.

While it is great that there are now agreements that need to be met with regard to renewable energy, it is still ultimately the dependence on foreign oil that drags everything down. As long as there is a demand for the supply of gas and oil, the fight will continue. Here’s to hoping that all the European members of the EU get to meet their targets well.

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Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

cracked earth - Drastically Ignored Signs: The Irrefutable Marks Global Warming Has Left on Europe

Our brightest minds have tried to warn us consistently through the years but were adamantly ignored. Energy and Global Warming are intrinsically interwoven with each other.

Humans consume energy. Energy is produced from coal, oil, or gas. These resources do not recover over time. As a consequence, prices go higher and higher. The rapid consumption of these non-renewable resources emits gasses when consumed. These become trapped and continue to heat up our planet. This cycle goes on and on until something gives. In the worst case scenario, it’ll be our planet that eventually becomes completely inhabitable.

Our scientists have pointed out several irrefutable signs that global warming has left on Europe. Let’s look at some of them:

Extreme overall temperature

Europe has been subjected to the flux of temperature extremes. Mostly, these are in the form of terribly warm days and nights. These greatly affect human physiology and have even resulted in death in the elderly and infants. As the temperatures continue to go up, the desertification of certain areas in the Southern Europe have begun. This has brought it prolonged periods of drought and inability to harvest crops, devastating farming communities.

On the flip side, they have also recorded sudden and prolonged low-temperatures. In either case too much heat and too much ice is definitely not healthy from a human standpoint.

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Unpredictability of weather

If you’ve noticed that most meteorological forecasts have become increasingly unreliable as the years went by. This is particularly true especially for South East Asia. The predictability of weather events have been increasingly difficult to observe and report. As the climate continues to change (and not for the better), it’ll be harder and harder to provide accurate weather reporting.

Unavailability of water

Water is an important resource. However, river flows in southern and eastern Europe have seen massive reductions. Seasonal changes are now considered normal for places, like mountain areas, that did not used to have them before.

As potable water normally hails from mountain peaks and mountainous areas, the drastic changes in climate has made water supplies diminish. Highly populated areas like cities will start to exhibit signs of water shortages soon. This shall affect things like tourism, which is one of the primary sources on income for European cities.

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Vanishing coastal areas

As the world warms, the ice caps melt and end up raising the water level of oceans. As 1/3 of the EU population reside in coastal cities, these will be impacted when the sea start to reach areas where it previously did not. This shall also affect water availability. As sea water rises and pushes inland, this shall affect the fresh water ecosystems.

Something clearly has to be done.

The reliance on oil and gas imports is not sustainable. Fossil fuels are a rapidly depleting resource. Instead of being able to provide everyone with sufficient energy, the reliance on oil continues to drive up the prices of energy. The rapid consumption of this resource restarts the awful cycle of global warming.

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A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

global warming plant - A Risk Analysis of Europe and Global Warming: Where Did All Our Ice Go?

Why is everyone so concerned about Global Warming? Join us as we look closer at this unnatural phenomenon and how Europe is dealing with its effects on an international scale.

What is global warming?

Global warming is often defined as the gradual increase of the Earth’s overall temperature. It is commonly attributed to the so called “greenhouse effect”. This is the effect which occurs when certain gasses do not allow the release of heat outward. Instead, they are kept in our atmosphere and projected downwards.

The greenhouse effect has been studied immensely since the discovery of its effects in 1824. It was 1895 that a Swedish chemist had discovered that carbon dioxide makes the production of greenhouse gases worse.

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Why is global warming a problem?

As the world continues to heat up, it alters our terrain and our climate. Heat is not conducive to keeping snow and ice exactly where they are. Early this year, around July, an Antarctic iceberg broke off Larsen ice shelf. It is one of the largest break offs ever recorded. It is supposedly quadruple the size of London. Global warming contributed to the berg breaking away. The saddest thing is that this isn’t the first time we’ve seen global warming affect our climate and our topography.

 In 2003, Europe experience the hottest summer in 500 years. This resulted in 70,000 deaths. Many more may follow.

How has Europe contributed to global warming?

The EU was once the world’s leading importer of oil and gas. The emissions which this led to were abominably high.

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What is Europe doing about it?

In 2014, the EU went into an agreement to target a 40% emissions reduction by 2030. The European Commission launched The Energy Union Strategy. Its purpose was to handle the transformation of the energy supply of all European nations. The overall aim is to secure sustainable and affordable energy.

One of the goals of the EU is now the full integration of the European energy market. Doing so will provide a simultaneous standardization of how energy is created and distributed. Europe is also aiming to develop a smart electricity system.  A smart grid is a sort of electrical grid that has a variety of operational and energy measures. If successfully developed and launched, it presents a system that helps boost the rate of issue detection. It should also be able to work out issues without the intervention of specialists.

Another goal is to significantly lower the EU’s dependence of foreign energy exports.

The European Union Emission Trading scheme enacted a directive which clarified national caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources. There are several other committees and policies which have been made to lower the gas emissions of EU as a whole.

Europe is well on its way to developing smarter systems which yield better long-term effects for our energy issues. It is only a matter of time before renewable energy will be massively available to far flung parts of the EU.

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