Environmental Protection Methodology Through the Web

Making Environmentalism Connect With The Public: How to Use Imagery And Video to Sway Public Opinion

October 17, 2015

Saving the environment isn’t easy.  We face opposition from big business, politicians, angry citizens, etc.   Environmentalists are unfairly stereotyped as crazy hippies who care more about trees than people.

However the facts are that humans depend on the environment, and we are heavily dependent on the health of our planet to survive and thrive on our world.  Pollution, climate change and other such issues are first and foremost hitting human beings extremely hard.

video production

To make big environmental wins, we need to use public relations and marketing expertise to sell environmental issues.  A large part of this is visuals and imagery.  Whether we like it or not a single image can make a huge difference in environmental campaigns.

For example many of China’s recent advances in terms of anti-pollution policy and efforts to clean itself up are in part due to the photos that have come out of the country that show the extent of the pollution.

These photos have the potential to strongly limit foreign investment in China, and turn tourists away from visiting China.  This is a major incentive for the Chinese government to clean up its act.

Video is even more powerful.  Videos can evoke strong emotions, make people cry, and catalyze massive action.  A huge reason many people turn vegetarian or stop eating factory meat is because of the various documentaries that have been made that show the suffering of animals in factory farms, the unsanitary conditions, and the general lack of humanity.   Environmental documentaries often help bring new members into movements and catalyze massive action.

For example, Gasland played a major role in exposing the fracking industry, and the environmental destruction it wreaks to the surrounding areas.

To attack environmental bad actors head on, we need to engage with high quality video production created by legitimate video producers or agencies such as Memory Tree from Toronto.   High quality video production has several different components such as top notch equipment, skilled crew members, a dedication to the cause, and excellent editing skills.

In addition to being able to create great videos, environmentalists must learn the art of public relations.  GreenPeace is an excellent non-profit in this regard, as they know absolutely how to gather attention.  Yes, their antics may seem outrageous and outlandish, but this gathers attention to the cause.  It does more good than bad.  When it comes to media attention, going overboard absolutely works 100%.

5 Environmental Disasters Of the 21st Century You Probably Haven’t Heard About

May 15, 2015

In spite of efforts to protect the environment, the number of environmental disasters in the 21st century continues unabated. All of these events have had a major impact ecology wise, but the following are the worst in terms of damage.

  1. The Tricolor

On December 14, 2002, the Norwegian vessel Tricolor crashed into the Bahama container vessel Kariba. The incident happened in the French Channel, and the Tricolor was damaged heavily, and it started pumping more than 2000 tons of oil in the water. Due to its location, the sunken Norwegian vessel collided with other ships in the ensuing months, causing tons of oil to leak in the ocean. This led to the death of thousands of seabirds and destruction totaling close to 100 million Euros.

  1. The Love Canal Chemical Waste Dump

Back in 1920, Hooker Chemicals converted part of Niagara Falls into a chemical and municipal disposal site, and measures were supposedly taken to keep chemicals from spilling out. In the 1950s, the area near the Love Canal was purchased for city building. Any ill effects from building near the chemical dump site went unheeded until activist Lois Gibbs began to trace the connection between the dump and the number of birth defects in and around the area.

Eventually it would come to light that the chemical waste dump in the area was responsible, and subsequent research revealed that the Love Canal contains more than 130 lbs. of the toxic TCDD, and that there are more than 248 chemicals in it.

  1. The Baia Mare Cyanide Spill


On January 30, 2000, cyanide was used in the Baia Mare gold mine in Romania, and it spilled over into the Somes River as well as into the Tisza waters. The spill, which was due to a leak in the dam, led to the outpouring of more than 100,000 cubic meters of water with a very high level of cyanide.

The waste water not only contained a lot of cyanide, but it also had other heavy and dangerous metals like zinc, copper and lead. This would eventually lead to the death of all the marine and aquatic life in the sea, and it would also affect the other wildlife in the area. Such was the extent of the damage that it reached the Danube River, and the effects were felt in Serbia and Hungary as well.

  1. European BSE Crisis

BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) is type of cow disease. Popularly known as mad cow disease, it causes cows to behave strangely and leads to their sudden collapse because the disease attacks their brain and spinal cord. Once the disease spread, it became known that the cause was the food, as the cows were fed bones and meat from slaughtered sheep.

As the investigation deepened, it became clear that the cows contracted prions (proteinaceous infectious particles), and over the succeeding generations the ill effects slowly became apparent, leading to the spread of infected tissue. Although the UK imposed a ban on its cow meat, it came too late as the contamination had spread throughout Europe.

  1. Spanish Waste Water Spill

Number 5 on our list is the Spanish waste water spill that took place on April 25, 1998. On that day, one of the mining tanks in a pyrite mine in Aznalcollar, Spain exploded, releasing contaminated water and sludge in the Guadiamar River. This resulted in the river getting polluted with copper, zinc, lead, cadmium and other heavy metals.

The damage was so severe that the affected area spanned 4,634 hectares, polluting the environment with acidic water and sludge. Even though the incident happened years ago, the effect on the waters and the surrounding environment is still felt to this day.

Environmental Best Practices for Home Painters

May 10, 2015

The past few years has seen an increase in the number of people who engage in DIY painting. While this is certainly easy enough to do, there are environmental risks associated with it if you don’t do it right. Here are some tips to help you get started and avoid any potential health risks.

Plan the Project

Plan the painting so you don’t end up buying too many or too few drop cloths, plastic bags, cleaning rags, brushes, paint trays and rollers. Before getting starting any plan, you need to know the size of your project so you don’t run out of supplies in the middle of the project.

painting safely

Choose the Right Type of Paint

There are three types of paints you can choose from, latex, oil and natural. Latex paints have less VOCs compared to other types of paint as it is water based. They’re also easy to find so it’s a good choice.

Natural paints may include ingredients like linseed oil, citrus and chalk, and while it’s all right for most, sensitive people might get irritated by citrus oil so if that’s the case you should avoid this. Finally there are oil paints, and while durable, are petrochemical based and produce a high amount of VOC.

Cover the Furniture and Floor

Before you start painting, prepare the room by putting tarps and plastic sheets over the furniture and floors. If you can remove some of the more delicate objects in the room, do so, but if that’s not possible just cover them.

covering furniture

Define the Space and Provide Ventilation

Mark the space by applying painter’s tape, and make sure to use it to shield the areas you’re not painting like the baseboards, window trims, window edges and more. Next, maximize the ventilation in the area you’re going to paint. Even if the paint has low or no VOC formulation, it’s still a good idea to ventilate the area as much as you can.

Before you start painting, open the windows so you can breathe some fresh air. When you’re done painting, bring a fan into the room and turn it on. This might seem like overkill, but odorless paint might trigger asthma and other respiratory problems with people.

Wear Protective Clothing

Your body is vulnerable to chemicals so before you start, wear gloves, a painter’s cap, pants and long sleeves. Even if you’re careful there’s always the possibility that some of it could get on your skin.

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

Here are a few other suggestions:

  • If you’re going to use a ladder, get one that has stable support bars and a wide base. The best ladders have adjustable legs that will allow you to paint at various levels and of course, you need to check the ladder first before using it.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should never paint.
  • Don’t paint near areas where there’s a pregnant woman because the fumes might prove harmful.
  • Wait for the paint to completely dry before using the room

When buying paints, check the lead content level and if necessary, ask the store person to help you find the lowest toxicity paint available. As always, read the product instructions before using it: painting is easy enough if you know how, but products may have specific instructions and preparation requirements that need to be followed.

Spray painting indoors should be avoided especially if it involves spray cans. Finally, if you’re having trouble painting your home, it’s best to hire the services of a professional painter to do the job. There are many such services available today so it’s definitely not going to be a problem finding one.


Why You Should Install Solar Panels For Your Home

May 8, 2015

More and more homes are installing solar panels, and as the prices go down expect this trend to continue. If you’re still among those balking at the idea because it’s still too expensive, the following will show that it isn’t, and will actually save you money down the line.

solar panels

Lower Your Power Bills

It will cost a bit to purchase solar panels, but when that’s done you’ll be able to recover the cost and more because your power bill will go down. With a solar panel in place, it’ll be much easier to predict how much power you’ll be using and how much it will cost every month.

Easy to Use

Solar energy isn’t just eco-friendly, as it also boasts of a simple architecture with no moving components. Unlike other high tech equipment, solar panels are very low maintenance and don’t require anything from you. Even if the panels get dirty, it’s not going to have much of an effect in terms of the power you get.

electrician in toronto


The reliability of solar energy is well noted, and this is due to the fact that there are no complicated moving parts that could break down. A typical solar panel will last for at least 25 years, and some of the better ones last much longer. Furthermore, the government provides subsidies for homes that use solar panels since it’s eco-friendly.

If you’re going solar, have a professional electrician install the system, like TO Electric for instance, because they have been trained in the proper configuration and installation of these systems.

Brief History of the Japanese Whaling Industry and Its Environmental Impact

May 6, 2015

Japanese whaling began to operate on a large scale in the 1890s as the country joined the growing whale industry. However, Japanese whaling extends beyond its borders, and even when the International Whaling Commission (IWC) declared a moratorium on whale hunting in the mid 1980s, Japan continued with the practice on the grounds that it was for scientific research. They continue to do so to this day.

The Effect on Whales and the Environment

In 1989, the IWC was given evidence proving the effect of hunting on the population. In a six year study, it was proven that only 87 schools of humpback whales, 27 schools of fin and 22 schools of blue whales were frequently seen, with each school having only 1 to 2 animals.

The hardest hit has been the blue whale, where from its original population of a quarter of a million has been reduced to less than 1,000, and this can be attributed in large part due to Japanese whale hunting activities.


Dire Consequences

The consequences of Japanese whaling continue to be felt. As the blue whale population plummeted, the hunters turned their attention to fin whales, and this has driven their population down to less than 5% of its original level of more than 500,000 years ago.

Studies have revealed that the same fate has befallen humpback whales, so much so that less than a quarter of the original population has survived. Not content with the decimation of these creatures, the hunters focused on the other whales, resulting in their decimation as well.

In spite of growing opposition to whale hunting Japan continues to defy the international community, and this continues to have a negative effect on the whale population. As far back as 1994, the IWC had declared the Antarctic a sanctuary for whales, but Japan has chosen to disregard it.

To this day, Japan continues to kill more than 300 minke whales every year in the name of research. Not only does it affect the population of whales in general, but the effect on the environment and animals that depend on whales is incalculable.