How To Save The World From Plastic Pollution

There is not one solution, we all know that. But let’s take a look back in time for a possible solution to plastic pollution. In a past-era, we had a solution that worked. Why not try that option once again. The returnable, refillable container of last century that was a sure thing introduced by Coca Cola in the 1920’s. It ensured customer satisfaction and more importantly, customer loyalty.


Coca Cola sold its desirable liquid in expensive bottles that the company needed to be returned for the next drink batch, and the batch after that, and the batch after that one, and so on. The bottle was reused 40 or 50 times. That’s an excellent usage record for one glass bottle.

How did it work? Simple. The company included a deposit charge. In those days, a two-cent deposit equated to about 40% of the full cost of the bottle of drink in the 1920’s. They secured around 98% return of their bottles. The deposit system is a highly successful model for securing the return of the original product, in this case the glass packaging.

This is a closed loop system, where the purchaser rents the container or packaging and buys the content. The idea of generating trash or getting rid of the container is not an option. So why is there not a surge in the regeneration of the conservation within the consumerism marketing approach?

It has been reintroduced when Szaky reintroduced the Loop approach for his online delivery service. The Loop market sells over 300 different items, in containers of various size and made from various materials. One can purchase food products, like ice cream right out to the more boring household items such as cleaning products.

The Loop signature product is the Häagen-Dazs ice cream sold in an insulated stainless steel tub. This means no softening, no melt. Just firm, cold ice cream by the time it reaches your home. Refillables are a serious, viable solution for the plastic waste crisis that the globe is presently facing. It is a way forward for future waste control but does not address the present plastic waste crisis.


Other initiatives are the ‘Bring you own refillable cup’ in cafes and coffee houses. The sale of coffee in refillable cups means we can avoid filling the landfills with once-used, thin-plastic-film lined paper cups. That’s another great retro step to reducing our plastic footprint.

The circular economy can also replace those very convenient one-serving of coffee, or sugar, or soup, or detergent, and so on. These single-serve sachets are typically in a plastic-type packaging. Yes, affordable. No, waste generators. Instead, we need to revert back to vending machine filling your container with a limited or selected  amount.

This container deposit – returnable item would not have grabbed the market several years back. But now that the outcry against plastics is so loud, the ‘Loop method’ can actually shout louder and grab the attention of investors and consumers. A global crisis makes the global population open its eyes and its mind.

How successful is Szaky with the ‘Loop  model’? He gave his pitch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and he secured big producers like Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola, Unilever, Proctor and Gamble all to sign on.

This is only part of the story about the future of plastic but it’s a great place to rethink and restart the process of consumerism.

4 Quick Ways to Reduce E-Waste in Your Small Business

The issue of e-waste is one we all need to face up to, and small businesses are in a position to do more to help the environment and also reduce costs in this context.

If you’re looking for a fresh approach to minimizing e-waste in a flash, here are some tips to consider following in your own organization.

how to reduce e-waste in small businesses

1. Donate Old Equipment

If you own a small business, chances are there’s an abundance of unused tech lying around. Don’t let these items go to waste – donate them instead.

You can give away any gently used equipment like desktop computers, laptops, tables and much more to local good causes, whether that’s schools in your community that need it, youth projects or anything else.

This way not only will you reduce e-waste, but also help out people who may be struggling financially. So long as what you donate is still in good working order, you’ll avoid shipping perfectly serviceable items further afield for recycling or straight-up dumping.

2. Revamp Old Computers With Free, Open Source Software

Putting old computers to work in a different capacity within the organization, rather than shelling out for new hardware, is another wise move.

For instance, by installing a free, open source, lightweight operating system like Linux, you can extend the lifespan of older laptops or desktops, rather than sending them to the scrap heap as soon as the latest Windows update starts to hamper their performance. Not only will this reduce e-waste, but it’ll also save money in the long run.

Also, if your business still relies on outdated first-party programs like Microsoft Office, consider switching to free alternatives like LibreOffice, which offer all the same features for zero cost. You could go the subscription route, of course, but that’s a choice you have to make based on your budget and your needs.

3. Use Call Forwarding to Avoid Buying New Phone Handsets for Employees

With the help of an auto attendant phone system, you can set up a call forwarding so that customers and clients can get in touch with team members wherever they might be.

The latest call forwarding tech means that there’s no need to splash out on new handsets for every employee; instead, calls placed to your business number or to their extension can be automatically routed through to whatever end point makes the most sense. This could be their own mobile handset, another landline off-site, or anything else.

This will also allow you to use the same handset with multiple extensions and even transfer calls between employees if needed.

By taking this approach, you’ll cut down on e-waste while still providing efficient customer service. Plus, it’s much cheaper than investing in expensive hardware that could quickly become outdated or obsolete. And best of all, you can be sure that your customers won’t notice any difference when making calls.

4. Recycle E-Waste Properly and Safely

At some point you’ll need to deal with e-waste that’s no longer viable for in-house operations or for donating externally. When the time comes, recycling is the best option for small businesses.

Ewaste Management for Small Businesses

By taking the time to properly recycle old electronics, you can prevent them from ending up in landfill or being illegally dumped overseas.

To get started, research local waste disposal companies who offer safe and secure methods of disposing of electronic items such as computers or phones – this should be done regularly if your business uses a lot of technology.

Additionally, ensure that all data stored on these devices has been securely wiped before sending them off for processing; this will help protect against potential breaches of privacy which could put your customers at risk.

Finally, don’t forget to keep track of any receipts provided by recyclers so you can prove that proper processes were followed when getting rid of unwanted equipment.

Energy Answers for the Middle East

The economy of Middle East is practically synonymous with crude oil for the average Western observer, but what most people aren’t aware of is the Middle East hasn’t been doing so well out of its crude oil reserves in recent years. So much so, that it may be the first time in history that we can justifiably declare an imminent state of Peak Oil in these regions.

It is an understandably bold statement, and one that will come as a surprise to many… especially those who have been blindsided by the more general, global statistics. Besides a slight dip over the course of 2013, it appears that crude oil production around the world is in on an upward trend, and peak oil doesn’t seem to be on this side of the horizon.

But there’s a reason why production looks so healthy, and it isn’t anything to do with the Middle East region. If we exclude North America from the statistics, we’re left with a much bleaker picture.It is clear that it is only the U.S. and Canada who are bolstering production figures for the rest of the world. Everywhere else is seeing a sharp decline – and likely prolonged – decline.

Worse, even North America seems to be suffering once you dig into the details; their own upswing rests solely upon shale reserves, a sub-set of oil production that is becoming increasingly hard to recover in way that is economically viable. This is why less than 30% of shale operations take place outside of America and Canada, since they have almost exclusive access to the specialized rigs required to obtain shale oil.

Flow Reversal

Last month, BP were given the all-clear to commence drilling for shale gas in Oman (which set them back a startling $16 billion dollars for the contract). Other than this, however, most of the fossil fuel action now seems to be flowing out of America rather than towards it, and it’s highly likely that the U.S. and Canada will begin to export its excess oil to regions that, historically, used to produce it themselves. The shale boom has already crippled the European refineries, and West African suppliers are suffering a similar fate.

Given that the Middle East region is also in the firing line, what can be done to mitigate this, or at least lessen the dependency on crude oil?

United Arab Emirates is arguably just as famous for its oil as it is as pioneers of green technology. Cities such as Abu Dhabi (and Masdar City in particular) are well known for their greenery, advanced architecture, eco initiatives and focus on carbon-neutral municipal planning.

Great advances have been made already in these ‘green cities of the future’, and further innovations would be welcome. Improved water recycling or an increase in roof gardens are all areas which could drive things ever forward.

Dubai Wasn’t Built in a Day

As well as focusing on how to reduce waste and better use the resources we do have, it should also be remembered that many countries in the Middle East weren’t exclusively built on oil.

For instance, it’s a common misconception that Dubai’s great wealth came from the black gold; while the towering metropolis of today is markedly different from the settlement that has stood their since antiquity, it has blossomed for thousands of years as a prime location for trade. While oil has undeniably played its part, less than 7% of the emirate’s revenues actually come from oil and gas.

Dubai is a good example in that it has recognized the need for diversification in recent years. It remains a global hub for trade – accounting for 16% of its revenue – and has recently established itself as a huge market for real estate, construction and tourism. A good move on Dubai’s part, really, since its oil is expected to run out in the near future.

Ultimately, the answer seems to fall somewhere between Abu Dhabi’s focus on alternative energies and Dubai’s focus on different revenue streams. What is clear, however, is that focusing solely on chasing down the last barrel of oil is not a foolish move economically, but one which is will short-change our environment in the process.

4 Energy-Saving Gadgets to Save Money on Electricity Bill

If you are having problems in settling the cost of your electric bills time and time again, the most obvious thing to do is to conserve energy. One of the most common reasons for your electric bill rising significantly is using your appliances recklessly and without thought.

To save energy, you must first deal with how to use your appliances correctly and efficiently. If, however, your devices are ‘energy vampires’; machines that use too much energy even without use, then it’s probably time for you to switch gears and buy gadgets or devices that not only is a useful alternative to your appliances at home but also saves a lot of energy.

Here are some of the energy-saving gadgets or appliances you can use to conserve energy and save a lot of money on your next electric bill.

1. Solar Charger

If you are always charging the batteries of your handheld devices such as your mobile phone, iPods, digital camera, or other portable devices, you will be adding a lot more on your electric bill. The best thing to do about this is to buy a solar charger.

Not only is it efficient in charging your devices, but it also conserves a lot of energy since you don’t need to plug it in an outlet for it to charge. All you need to do is to leave it out in a sunny area and let the sun do the job for you. By the time it is finished, you can quickly charge the batteries of your devices without using electricity in your house.

2. Smart Power Strips

If you have seen commercials about saving energy and the like, you must have heard the term “energy vampires.” These are appliances that use too much power if left plugged in the socket, even if you are not actively using the devices or left on standby mode. Some of the most common energy vampires at home are smartphones, TVs, light bulbs, and laptop chargers.

Sure, you can unplug then from the socket, but it would be too much of a hassle and a big bother, not to mention that it takes too much time, especially if you are in a hurry. But, if you use a smart power strip, the devices will automatically cut off power from appliances that are not in active use or left in standby mode, saving you time, money, and effort.

There is a lot of variety when it comes to smart power strips. Some are color-coded, divided into parts where your appliances should be plugged in specific sockets, and for the others too. Most of them, however, look like the standard sockets that you can install near an appliance and are used as a regular socket. That may be the case, but at least you are saving energy by using them.

On average, a regular household saves at least 25% of their energy cost when using a smart power strip. If you, however, take the chance and switch to smart power strips completely, you can save almost 50% of your total energy cost per month.

3. Energy Star Appliances

If you need to buy a new appliance, such as a washing machine or a microwave, shopping for energy star appliances will save you a lot of money in the long run. While these appliances can sometimes be more expensive than a regular one, you can save money in the long term since they take up less energy while still being efficient.

This is true, especially in washing machines. Washing machine technology has come so far recently and now offers products that cost less $80 a year to operate.

4. Smart Thermostat

Using a regular thermostat in your house can sometimes be a hassle since you have to adjust it manually. Also, if left unchecked, it will cost additional money on your electric bill because of the inefficiency. However, if you are using a smart thermostat, you will be saving both time and money since the intelligent thermostat will do the adjusting for you.

These devices learn from your household habits and will be using energy-efficient adjustments, even if you are not at home. By using a smart thermostat, you will be saving at least 10 to 25% of energy, which will shave off a significant portion of your monthly electric bills.

While this might be a little more expensive than the regular one, it is still a good investment because of the money it will shave off your bills. The average price of a smart thermostat can be $200, at least, but some landlords are willing to credit this cost in your next payment.

Bonus Tip

It’s also a good practice to scout for electricity providers that provide competitive rates. For instance, if you’re residing in Ohio, one of the prudent things you can do is to compare electricity prices in Ohio area and check for the differences in terms of pricing. That way, you can choose the right energy provider that offers a lower rate.


Taking the time, money, and effort to switch to energy saving appliances and devices might be costly, but it will be worth it in the long run. Most of your bills come from the use of electricity, and it will be a great help in budgeting if some of it will be shaved off. Thus, switching to energy saving appliances is an excellent investment for your household.

6 Top Green Ways for Tidying Your Home

Home cleaning is a routine that you should perform regularly so that you can always live in a comfortable environment. However, some methods used for cleaning homes can negatively impact the environment in different ways. To prevent this, you can consider green cleaning methods.

As such, you can double-check the 6 green ways for tidying your home below:

1. DIY cleaning products

Homemade cleaning products with natural ingredients such as lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda, and olive oil are perfect for cleaning your home since they do not negatively impact the environment. These products are safe, and you can also use them for various purposes like cleaning the kitchen, the windows, as well as the bathroom.

If you want to get rid of insects and other unsightly creatures, you can also consider green methods to do so. Seattle, for example, is a beautiful city consisting of a warm and oceanic climate and relatively dry summers. Insects and other substances like molds can thrive in this climate, so you need to find green methods of eliminating them. Other treatment methods consist of chemicals that can be hazardous to the environment, to pets, as well as to humans, so you must always prioritize safety.

2. Avoid cleaners that contribute to pollution

The other option of home green cleaning is to consider cleaners that do not cause air pollution. For example, instead of vacuuming your floors, you can sweep manually using a broom. This can be time-consuming, but it is much better for the environment.

3. Use water for cleaning

You can also consider using clean water only especially when cleaning ceramic floor tiles. If there are no dirt stains on the tiles, you can simply mop them using clean water and avoid detergents with chemicals and other artificial components.

4. Use soda to clean carpets

When your carpet is dirty, it can be unsightly, and it can also produce a bad smell. You can use baking soda to clean the carpet, which is great because it is free of toxic chemicals. Soda can also freshen your carpet.

5. Use boiling water for cleaning

When cleaning surfaces with oil residues like kitchen tables and sinks, you can use boiling water since it can melt the dirt so that you can easily wipe it with a clean cloth. Using boiling water can also help unclog the drainage system in the kitchen instead of using chemicals that can be toxic and cause a negative impact on the environment.


6. Clean indoor air naturally

You can clean the indoor air naturally by opening the windows as much as possible. This option is safe instead of using artificial air fresheners with fragrances that can affect the environment. However, you should first check if there is no strong wind that can blow dust particles inside.


Environmental concerns are increasingly gaining recognition across the board, so you must also play your part. You can do this by adopting green methods for tidying your home. These methods are clean and are very environmentally-friendly.

How Biomass Helps with Sustainability

The world is increasingly looking for ways to become more sustainable, and one of the most promising solutions is the use of biomass. Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from organic materials such as plants, animals, and their byproducts. It is often seen as a more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. In this article, we will explore the benefits and challenges of using biomass for sustainability.

why use biomass for sustainability

What is Biomass?

Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from organic materials such as plants, animals, and their byproducts. For example, wood, paper, crop waste, manure, and other organic materials can be used to generate energy. Biomass can be used to generate electricity, heat, and transportation fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, and biogas. It can also be used to produce plastics, fabrics, and other materials. As you can see, there are many advantages of biomass. It’s powerful enough that it can change the world.

The amazing thing about Biomass has the potential to be a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. It is renewable, carbon-neutral, and more cost-effective than traditional energy sources. Additionally, it is abundant in many parts of the world, making it a readily available energy source.

The use of biomass for sustainability is becoming increasingly popular as more people recognize the potential benefits it can offer. Biomass is a renewable energy source that can be used over and over again, making it a sustainable option. It does not produce carbon dioxide when burned, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally, it is often cheaper than traditional energy sources, making it an attractive option for many businesses and individuals.

Despite the many benefits of using biomass for sustainability, there are still some challenges associated with it. For example, the production of biomass requires land, which can lead to deforestation and other environmental issues. Additionally, burning biomass can lead to air pollution, including the release of particulate matter and other pollutants. Lastly, the production of biomass can be expensive, making it out of reach for many individuals and businesses.

Even though there are challenges to deal with, biomass is an important renewable energy source that can help us achieve a more sustainable future. With the right policies and investments in place, we can ensure that biomass is used responsibly and efficiently. This is key to ensuring that we can move towards a more sustainable future.

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is the ability to meet present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is often seen as a way of living responsibly with regard to our environment and natural resources. Sustainable practices aim to reduce the environmental impact of our activities and ensure that resources are used in a way that is equitable and efficient. This includes reducing waste and pollution, using renewable resources, and protecting ecosystems. Sustainability is an important goal for individuals, communities, businesses, and governments to strive for in order to build a more sustainable future.

Sustainability involves making decisions that are mindful of the current and future impacts of our actions. This includes considering the environmental, economic, and social impacts of our activities. For example, choosing to use renewable energy sources like biomass can reduce our environmental footprint and create more jobs in the area. Additionally, investing in sustainable practices can help build a more resilient and equitable society.

Ultimately, sustainability is about making choices that are beneficial for both the present and future generations. By investing in renewable energy sources like biomass energy and making other sustainable choices, we can work towards creating a better future for all.

Benefits of Using Biomass for Sustainability

  • Renewable: Biomass is a renewable energy source that can be used over and over again, making it a sustainable option.
  • Carbon-neutral: Unlike fossil fuels, biomass does not produce carbon dioxide when burned, making it a more environmentally friendly option.
  • Cost-effective: Biomass is often cheaper than traditional energy sources, making it an attractive option for many businesses and individuals.
  • Abundance: Biomass is abundant in many parts of the world, making it readily available for use.
  • Versatile: Biomass can be used to generate electricity, heat, and transportation fuels such as biodiesel, ethanol, and biogas. It can also be used to produce plastics, fabrics, and other materials.
  • Clean: Burning biomass does not produce the same air pollutants as burning fossil fuels, making it a cleaner energy source.
  • Jobs: The biomass industry can create jobs in the areas it is used, helping to boost local economies.
  • Local: Biomass can be sourced locally, reducing the need for long-distance transport of energy resources.


Challenges of Using Biomass for Sustainability

While biomass is a promising renewable energy source, there are some challenges associated with using it for sustainability. Below you can find a list of the most common challenges that come with using biomass for energy:

  • Land use: The production of biomass requires land, which can lead to deforestation and other environmental issues.
  • Pollution: Burning biomass can lead to air pollution, including the release of particulate matter and other pollutants.
  • Expense: The production of biomass can be expensive, making it out of reach for many individuals and businesses.
  • Availability: Biomass is not available in all parts of the world, making it difficult to access in some areas.
  • Storage: Biomass is more difficult to store than other energy sources, making it challenging to use on a large scale.
  • Technology: Using biomass requires specialized technology, which can be costly and difficult to access.


Biomass is a promising renewable energy source that can help us move towards sustainability. It has many benefits, including being renewable, carbon-neutral, cost-effective, abundant, versatile, clean, and job-creating. Additionally, it can be sourced locally, reducing the need for long-distance transport of energy resources.

Despite some challenges, biomass is an important renewable energy source that can help us achieve a more sustainable future. With the right policies and investments in place, we can ensure that biomass is used responsibly and efficiently, helping us to move towards a brighter and more sustainable future.

How Could Urban Planners Contribute to Social Cohesion in Cities?

While most of the implemented programmes that promote social cohesion are based on people’s ideology, perceptions, and social behaviours, the impact of the physical built environment, that hosts people’s lives and their social interactions, remains less tackled. In the context of urban planning, to what extent do our cities affect the advancement of social cohesion of communities? And could elusive and complex social concepts – like social cohesion – be tackled in a practical spatial planning approach that yields concrete actions?

The fostering of social cohesion gained intensive focus in the literature of urban planning and sustainable development studies, especially in cities, which include complex socio-economic fabrics and experience big demographic changes. Cities, that involve a diverse mass of the population of different backgrounds, interests, religions, ethnicities, and social statuses, would constitute more than two-thirds of the world population by 2050.

Opportunities and challenges of diversity come hand-in-hand. Providing equal opportunities and basic needs to all citizens, regardless of their background or social status is a pressing concern of planners and decision-makers in cities, where the income gap is more likely to get wider. Moreover, preserving unity and social solidarity among different social groups is a hard challenge that needs more than providing material needs to everyone.

Amman provides one case in point. Historically, the city received immigrant and refugee waves including Circassians, Palestinians, Iraqis, and recently the Syrians. The city, which is populated with 4,327,800 million residents which is 42% of Jordan’s total population, stands as a unique cultural and ethnic melted mixture, while presenting an example for peace and tolerance in a charged and unstable region. Yet socio-spatial division is still perceived in some areas of Amman, mostly based on the economic and wealth distribution, evidently between east and west Amman.

The eastern areas of Amman is poorer, hillier, more crowded, less fertile, and people are younger and receive services of lower quality than those in the western areas. Moreover, the recent unplanned Syrian refugee influx was an unprecedented demographic change that Amman planners could not have detected.

Cities for people

According to the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, “social cohesion refers to the extent of connectedness and solidarity among groups in society” and is based on two main dimensions. The relationships among members within the community and their sense of belonging to the city.

Social cohesion between different social groups depends on many factors. Although urban planners cannot independently provide the complete solution to the social problems of the city, yet their role would be facilitating the interaction and social mixing in the community by ensuring well-connected and liveable urban patterns. Therefore, urban planners tend to apply the human perspective to their cities when planning “cities for people” or “people-friendly” cities, where public spaces are occupied by people of different statuses.

For planners to provide equitable opportunities and services, the following needs to be taken into consideration: planning for suitable proximity between facilities, transportation, places of employment, and housing, while keeping accessibility and mobility within suitable range for all citizens. In addition to providing different affordable housing types for different social groups.

Achieving low-carbon, sustainable growth in Arab cities is a complex task.

On the other hand, fostering social cohesion requires maintaining social values like justice and equality, which are connected to the distribution of wealth, and current and future opportunities among individuals. Also, critical to fulfilling equality and justice among citizens is people’s participation in the process of shaping their cities. In this regard, participatory planning is a key approach to enhancing the sense of belonging and social inclusion of all members of society.

The right to the city and the spatial justice

Fostering social inclusion in planning cities implies concepts like “the right to the city”, which is the right of the residents to full and equal access to the resources and services in cities. This right includes the concept of “Autogestion” (self-management), where people are free to make and remake their cities and themselves. In that sense, the right to the city is a continuous process shaped by people’s needs and challenges and based on “social solidarities”.

Another urban concept that explores justice in cities is the “spatial justice”, which have been broadly discussed by Professor Edward Soja in his book “Seeking Spatial Justice”, 2010. The term states that “justice has a geography, and the equitable distribution of resources, services, and access is a basic human right”. The term highlights the spatial dimension of justice, which explains hidden aspects and new perspectives for action.

Both concepts fall under urban social movements and complement each other to create the just city, which implies equity and distribution of resources on the one hand, and supports the full development of the individual and the society as a whole, on the other. Furthermore, the concepts are linked to the notion of citizenship, which requires people’s social mobility and participation in decision-making.

Social exclusion and marginalisation in cities

Preserving social cohesion and spatial justice among citizens raises their sense of belonging, while inequalities and injustice in distribution wealth and rights would lead to marginalise some social groups that are the least represented in the city or deprived of their basic needs. Subsequently, the society’s stability and security would be threatened, while conflicts, poorer social relationships, and violent crime rates would increase.

In most cases, the poor and the most vulnerable sense the injustice and inequality impact more than wealthier social groups, therefore, “the call for a “real” right to the city comes from the oppressed and alienated”. It comes also from “the most marginalised and the most underpaid and insecure members of the working class”.

Integrated approaches for complex contexts

Fostering social cohesion in the urban planning context requires action plans that intersect and work in parallel with different layers of development; social, economic, political, and cultural. The traditional tasks of urban planners in managing land use to provide services and needs are no longer enough to cope with the complex and massive growth of cities. Furthermore, anticipating shocks in an unstable part of the world, that is constantly changing, is a difficult task, therefore, proactive and resilient planning that responds to possible future scenarios is a necessity in this struggle.

This process must consider the participation of different social groups to foster the inclusivity and to preserve the sense of belonging and active citizenship within the community. Finally, while grievances and injustices could take several forms, linking them to the spatial dimension is a contemporary and practical approach that provides evidence and facilitates forming concrete actions, where both, the urban planner and the sociologist work together for a common agenda, in a collaborative manner.


How Do I Know What Method Of Shipment Is Best For Me?

When it comes to cargo, selecting the right method of shipment can be challenging. Considering the perilous situations your goods may have to go through, you need to be cautious when picking the appropriate mode of transport to ensure safe and timely freight delivery.

With so many options available, it can take time to determine which one is best for your particular situation. To help you make the best decision, here are some tips on knowing which shipment method is the best for you.

which shipment method is the best for you

Type of Goods

Start by considering what type of goods you are shipping. Different shipping methods are suited for different types of products. For example, if you are shipping fragile items, you may opt for a method offering extra protection, such as air freight forwarder services or express shipping.

On the other hand, if you are shipping bulky items, opt for a less expensive shipping method, such as ground shipping. The right company will brief you on the best method for your shipment. Do your research to get a clear idea of your action plan.


Next, consider the destination of your shipment. If you are shipping to a rural area, choose a method that offers door-to-door delivery. On the other hand, if you are shipping to an urban area, you may be better off using a method that offers pick-up options. Consider the distance as well.

If you’re looking to send your goods to a far-off place, consider air freight — but you’d have to pay more for that than ocean transport. Also, check the company’s record in delivering long-distance shipments.


Are you tight on time or does your shipment need to be delivered urgently? Each shipping method offers varying levels of speed. For example, express shipping is usually the fastest, while ground shipping is usually the slowest. Depending on the urgency of your shipment — and the distance — you may opt for a faster shipping method.

Before hiring a company, discuss your specific requirements so you don’t run into issues later on. Let them know of any special demands so they can plan accordingly.


Finally, consider the cost of the shipment. Different shipping methods come with different costs. For example, air freight can be more expensive than ground shipping, but it is usually faster. Similarly, express shipping can be more expensive than ground shipping, but it is usually faster.

Before selecting a shipping method, make sure to compare the costs of each option to make sure you get the best deal. Review quotes from different companies and choose the one that is within your budget and delivers the goods within the time frame you provided.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right shipment method is easy if you research correctly. By considering the type of goods, destination, urgency, and cost of your shipment, you can determine which method and freight forwarder are the best for you and your needs.

Water in Islamic Culture

The great cultural bloom that took place during the al-Andalus period was made possible from a material and social viewpoint thanks, among other factors, to the judicious water management at those times. Countryside, cities, public bathhouses and fountains, mosques and gardens honoured the element of water. However, this water culture emerged from a distinctively Islamic conception which is briefly summarized in the following paragraphs.


Water in the Holy Quran

In Islam, life and knowledge originated from water, a divine gift that symbolises profound wisdom, the drink that quenches the soul’s thirst. But it is also science. Thus, the word al-ma’a – water in Arabic – appears 63 times in the Quran, which revealed secrets in the 7th century recently discovered by science.

Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth we joined together (as one Unit of Creation), before we clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing (Quran, 21-30).

Indeed, today we know that water covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface (mostly seas and oceans). We also know that water has been found in the interstellar clouds of our galaxy – the Milky Way –, as well as in Mars, and it is believed to be found in other galaxies. It also appears to be one of the first molecules on planet Earth.

The Holy Book states as follows with regard to living creatures:

And God has created every animal from water: of them there are some that creep on their bellies; some that walk on two legs; and some that walk on four. God creates what He wills; for verily God has power over all things (Quran, 24-45).

Today we know that as babies we are 75% water and as we grow older the body of an adult human being is made of approximately 60% water. Animals contain on average 60% water while vegetables up to 75%. Human brain is composed of 90% water. This means that the human being, which is the most perfect being in nature, talks, thinks, does, undoes, writes and invents on the basis of water.

Allah thus asserts in the Holy Book that His Throne was upon the water. That is to say that he created life on the basis of water.

Water also represents also purity in Islam. Thanks to water human beings take care of their body hygiene, as in all cultures, but also perform spiritual purification by means of the daily ablutions. In accordance with the great Sufi Ibn ‘Arabi of Murcia, who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries, by performing ablutions believers get rid of vanity and appearing themselves as servants of the Creator.


Moreover, water is a powerful symbol of the rebirth and quickening, and it is commonly used metaphorically. God has brought life from death, and death from life, as the Holy Book tells us.

And He it is Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy, and we send down pure water from the sky.

That with it We may give life to dead land, and slake the thirst of things we have created, cattle and men in great numbers (Quran, 25, 48-49).

This description refers at first sight to a natural phenomenon, but it is means the quickening of the soul or the spiritual awakening.

Significance of Water in Islam

Water ownership is accepted as long as the person has built a particular infrastructure, for instance in a river course. But, over and above that, there is the obligation to distribute the surplus free of charge. Many institutions were established in order to ensure a balanced and fair water distribution, some of which have lasted up to the present day, such as the Water Tribunal of (Tribunal de las Aguas) de Valencia, the Council of Good Men (Consejo de Hombres Buenos) de Murcia and the Irrigation Communities (Comunidades de Regantes) in the Eastern Coastal Region of Spain.


Providing water to others is considered as sadaqah, a good. Some ecological hadith, or traditions attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, relate to the obligation to assist the thirsty ones, whether humans or animals. According to a hadith, a little dog in need was given assistance by a man who descended to the bottom of a pit with no little effort, held his shoe with the mouth to fill it with water and gave the water to the dog. In so doing, he obtained divine favour. These are beautiful stories that help us to reflect upon. And let’s not forget that we reflect thanks to water.

Key Takeaway

Finally, I would like to emphasize that water in Islam is considered as a gift belonging to all equally, which has to be managed and distributed with equity among all living beings, humans, animals and plant life. In fact, this is envisaged in the law on the right on water, named safa. We are of water, and we live on it.

Hence, this precious and scarce natural resource must be managed with respect and the highest degree of responsibility, in an equitable manner both individually and collectively, as our ancestors from al-Andalus taught us in such exemplary fashion.

5 Student Projects To Protect The Environment From Air Pollution

Pollution is a ubiquitous problem in the present-day world, and it is rising continuously all around the globe. Amongst all other kinds of pollution, such as water, land, and sound, air pollution has a profound impact on every living organism present on the earth. We inhale many toxins and pollutants along with oxygen while breathing, which can cause severe health problems and can even lead to an untimely death. Developing countries face more pollution-related health problems as compared to developed countries. However, students alongside scientists are working hard to protect our home planet from air contamination and its hazardous effects.

Fortunately, more and more people are working for environmental protection and conservation. Government and private organizations are working to reduce the factors that are damaging the nature we live in. Today’s students are also more concerned about the harmful effects of the contaminated environment and seek to help in their own way. During school and college if you are wondering how to rewrite my paper, you should know the importance of a sound environment. They are also asked to work on projects and proceedings on environmental protection methods.


Students may significantly benefit from essay samples to work on their paper and learn more about protecting the earth. Reading such pieces helps in their course to develop useful projects that aid to solve the existing pollution related problems.

Cities around the world are choked with smog and dangerous emissions. Addressing the harm caused by rapidly increasing air pollution, many university students worldwide have developed useful environmental projects. Some of them are as follows:

1. Pollution vacuum cleaner

The idea of a pollution vacuum cleaner is to suck up the contaminants from the air. Developed by an Indian mechanical engineer, it takes all the pollutants along with the air and releases clean air after filtration. As the air passes through various layers inside the filter, the contaminants stick in the filter, and clean air is released. Such vacuums can be used near chimneys and generators to reduce the presence of smoke in the air.

2. Hydrogen fuel from pollutants

Extracting hydrogen gas from the air is challenging, but not for enthusiasts. As part of their project, students have developed a device to purify the air from organic adulteration. This device is powered by solar energy, which houses a thin membrane that attracts the contaminants and exhales purified air. The extracted hydrogen can be stored and used later as fuel in hydrogen-powered vehicles.

3. Air pollution AI framework

Predicting the level of smog in a place can help the locals take a precautionary approach in case of an increment in contamination. A high school student from New-York made a device as project work that predicts air pollution levels using neural networks. The AI-equipped tool can predict contamination with up to 92% accuracy.


Artificial Intelligence can provide invaluable assistance in environment protection and resource conservation

4. Anti-smog gun

The anti-smog gun is an effective method of clearing the air pollutants in smog-afflicted areas. During the high level of pollution, the gun sprays vapor into the air, absorbing the toxins. It is a short-term solution to minimize the harms of hazardously polluted air.

5. Air-Ink

Air-Ink is a creative and interesting device that can convert air carbon to ink. People can connect the KAALINK device to their car exhaust pipe to get the ink from the fuel fumes. The tool can extract 30 ml of ink within 45 minutes of driving. However, the collected ink requires to be purified in the lab before its use.

Bottom Line

Students may find that working on air pollution control projects is one of the best ways in which they can learn about environmental hazards during their educational course. Such insights inspire them to search for a solution and develop various solutions to counter the threats.

Getting involved in innovative air pollution projects will help us to understand the importance of the atmosphere and environment and our responsibility towards keeping the earth safe for the future generation. We can all contribute to fighting air pollution and saving all beings for generations to come through our collective effort.

Women Entrepreneurship in MENA: An Analysis

Women entrepreneurship is an important unexploited source of economic growth in almost all parts of the world. Unfortunately women in MENA have the lowest rates of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) at merely 4% of the population. The highest rates, globally, are in sub-Saharan Africa, at 27%. Latin American and Caribbean economies also show high levels (15 percent). In just seven economies (Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico, and Uganda), women had equal or slightly higher levels of entrepreneurship than men. For the rest, women represented a smaller share of the entrepreneur population.


Current Situation

The recent interest in women entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa region has spurred a number of studies that aim to explain MENA’s very low female participation in the workforce and political life, at  both the inter-regional and the intra-regional scales and  to identify the challenges facing women entrepreneurs.

The comparative data shows that the MENA region has made strong gains in human development: Literacy increased to 69 percent, average schooling (for those above 15)  rose  to  5.2  years,  child mortality  rates  plunged  to  around  46  per  thousand  births,  and  life  expectancy  has climbed to  reach  68  years.”.

However the level of unemployment among women remains high throughout the region. Of course, there is enough evidence to show that culture and social norms — not religion since countries with the same religion clearly show different rates — have a great deal to do with it.

Key Barriers and Constraints

The MENA region, more than other regions, faces specific barriers for women to interact in the public sphere and to access vital resources. This poses constraints that need to be addressed with specific measure in access to technology, financing and access to information which is a necessity in a globalized world. Some of the main barriers and constraints identified in hampering women entrepreneurs from entering the economic mainstream are as follows:

  • Gender specific barriers: Despite the fact that MENA nations have made considerable efforts to narrow the gender gap, much remains to be done to raise the social welfare of women in the region.
  • Cultural norms.
  • Civil law: Prevalent laws tend to enforce certain customs and social norms and, in doing so, institutionalize and legitimize certain behaviors.
  • Access to financial services and resources.
  • Barriers in the business environment.
  • Lack of research and data to inform an effective advocacy strategy.

Inter-regional Disparities in MENA

The difference of Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) rates among countries in the MENA region is well explained by the heterogeneity and diversity of their historical development, social makeup and system of governance as well as  the  key  indicators  of  human  development  such  as health, education and living  standards.

role of women in food security

It is quite difficult to make generalizations across the MENA region as the region  includes super-rich oil economies, a relatively small population and a large expat population such as Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE; mixed oil economies such as Algeria, Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and  Syria  and non-oil economies  like  Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Malta and Cyprus. This further complicates attempts to explain variations in the character and gender aspects of employment and entrepreneurship.

Thus, each country in the Arab world is confronting constraints and barriers to women entrepreneurship in different contexts. The profile of barriers for each nation is shaped by inter-connectedness of intrinsic and extrinsic factors specific to each country. Some studies have attributed MENA’s low rates of female labor force participation in oil-exporting countries of MENA (the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) to oil.

It has been argued that the economic structure, social norms, and institutional characteristics of oil-rich economies discourage women from formal sector work. Ross (2008) argues that oil production “reduces the number of women in the labor force, which in turn reduces their political influence.” Oil-rich countries tend to have undiversified private sectors characterized by male-dominated employment and large public sectors. Consequently, employment opportunities for women often are highly concentrated in the public sector

Oil is a significant source of income for some MENA countries, especially GCC nations, and has definitely limited the growth of non-oil sectors. Nevertheless, it is notable that many countries in the region are net oil importers but still have rates of female labor force participation as low as those of oil-rich MENA countries. In contrast, oil producers outside MENA such as Norway and the Russian Federation have higher rates of female labor force participation.

Ways to Enhance Female Entrepreneurship

Targeted, coordinated efforts are needed on multiple fronts to increase women’s participation in the economic and political spheres, and these efforts must be specific to country context. These efforts include changes in policies to secure women’s equality under the law, to bridge the remaining gender gaps in health and education, to redress the skills mismatch in the job market, and to promote women’s civic and political participation, and changes in economic policies by adoption of more nuanced labor taxation systems, more targeted social welfare benefits, tax credits, public financed parental leave schemes and promotion, better flex-work arrangements, enhanced access to finance and training for female entrepreneurs.

women entrepreneurship in Arab world

All these policy options and more can narrow the gap between men and women in economic life, and can trigger a momentum of growth and job creation that can support much higher rates of GDP and ensure prosperity for all.

Furthermore, the economic and political environment arising from the Arab Spring has created an unprecedented window of opportunity for change. Given the growing labor, demographic, and fiscal constraints, and the changing aspirations in the Middle East and North Africa region, policy reforms are urgently needed to boost job creation for all.


  • Ebba Augustin, Ruby Assad & Dalila Jaziri, 2012, Women Empowerment for Improved Research in Agricultural Development, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer in the West Asia/ North Africa Region, AARINENA Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa
  • Leyla Sarfaraz, Nezameddin Faghih and Armaghan Asadi Majd 2014, The relationship between women entrepreneurship and gender equality, The Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research (JGER)
  • Michael L. Ross, 2008, “Oil, Islam, and Women.” American Political Science Review
  • OECD-MENA Investment Programme, 2013, Gender inequality and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa : A statistical portrait
  • World Bank, 2007, The Environment for Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Solid Waste Management in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been witnessing rapid industrialization, high population growth rate and fast urbanization which have resulted in increased levels of pollution and waste. Solid waste management is becoming a big challenge for the government and local bodies with each passing day. With population of around 29 million, Saudi Arabia generates more than 15 million tons of solid waste per year. The per capita waste generation is estimated at 1.5 to 1.8 kg per person per day.

More than 75 percent of the population is concentrated in urban areas which make it necessary for the government to initiate measures to improve recycling and waste management scenario in the country. Solid waste generation in the three largest cities – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam – exceeds 6 million tons per annum which gives an indication of the enormity of the problem faced by civic bodies.  

Waste Management Scenario

In Saudi Arabia, garbage is collected from individual or community bins and disposed of in landfills or dumpsites. Saudi waste management system is characterized by lack of waste disposal facilities and absence of tipping fees. Most of the landfills are expected to reach their capacities within the next 10 years. Recycling, reuse and energy recovery is still at an early stage, although they are getting increased attention. Waste sorting and recycling are driven by an active informal sector. Recycling rate ranges from 10-15%, mainly due to the presence of the informal sector which extracts paper, metals and plastics from municipal waste.

Dumping of wastes in deserts is a common sight in the Middle East

Recycling activities are mostly manual and labor intensive. Composting is also gaining increased interest in Saudi Arabia due to the high organic content of MSW (around 40%).  Efforts are also underway to deploy waste-to-energy technologies in the Kingdom. All activities related to waste management are coordinated and financed by the government.

Government Initiatives

The Saudi government is aware of the critical demand for waste management solutions, and is investing heavily in solving this problem. The 2017 national budget allocated SR 54 billion for the municipal services sector, which includes water drainage and waste disposal. The Saudi government is making concerted efforts to improve recycling and waste disposal activities.  Recently the Saudi Government approved new regulations to ensure an integrated framework for the management of municipal wastes. The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs will be responsible for overseeing the tasks and responsibilities of the solid waste management system.

However, more serious efforts are required to improve waste management scenario in the Kingdom. A methodical introduction of modern waste management techniques like material recovery facilities, waste-to-energy systems and recycling infrastructure can significantly improve waste management scenario and can also generate good business opportunities. 


Strong legislations, financial support, public awareness, modern technologies and stakeholders’ participation should be the key in transforming Saudi Arabia into a ‘green’ nation. A strong political commitment and unflinching public support is mandatory for implementing a sustainable waste management strategy in the country.