Cross-European Initiative: Connect Green Politicians on Fundamental Environmental Issues


Cross-European InitiativeEnvironmental issues and challenges do not know boundaries. Addressing environmental challenges has always been a priority area across Europe. It is an issue that calls for cooperation since no European country or politician can address it single handedly. Therefore, for an efficient fight against environmental degradation, European countries and politicians have decided to work together through a combined initiative.

In 2004

Back in 2004, a European neighborhood policy highlighted the important nature of the challenge. Environmental degradation does not know any boundaries, and the best way to address it is through combined international and regional efforts. With a cross-European initiative, there is enhanced environmental protection. Citizens receive benefits of living a pollution free environment.

Ten years on, the cross-European initiative has grown stronger. It has recently been translated into far reaching cooperation of green politicians who believe in the same agenda of environmental protection. To achieve the objectives of this initiative, action plans have been adopted. These promote good environmental practices among the countries which are represented by the green politicians.

Cross-European InitiativePromoting good environmental governance translates to good human health. Health conditions that occur as a result of environmental pollution will be greatly reduced. There will better and efficient use of natural resources. Priorities for the cross-European initiative on fundamental environmental issues include waste management, water quality, climate change, natural disaster prevention, and preparedness.

In a report produced by the European commission in 2012, environmental cooperation was proceeding well among the countries represented by the green politicians. The green politicians have also taken major steps to improve legislation related to environmental issues. Green politicians have urged their countries to strengthen environmental cooperation through developing consistent environmental impact assessments and ensure public participation.

The fight against environmental degradation can only be won if improvement in environmental governance is undertaken across the region. This will ensure that environmental laws are enforced and fully complied with.

Green politicians in the European Union have had a longstanding legal commitment to tackle environmental dimensions through cross-cutting policies. The importance of cross-cutting environmental efforts cannot be under-estimated. A number of projects have already been funded by member countries and well wishers geared towards a green Europe.

Reducing environmental risks and degradation and promotion of sustainable natural resource use are key pillars of the cross-European initiative. Green politicians share a range of regional and global efforts towards fighting pollution. Key challenges being addressed include water and air quality, nature conservation, waste management, land use, energy use, and dealing with excessive pollution.

As such, the cross-European initiative has taken several measures to ensure that multilateral environment agreements and environmental legislation have been fully implemented. This is meant to provide support for prioritization and strategic planning to deal with scarce resources and ease the burden of human activities on the environment.

The initiative has also supported establishment of Environmental Protection Centers. These are meant to enhance a cross-cutting cooperation among the green politicians and their countries. There has also been technical assistance provided to individuals or groups who share the same vision of addressing fundamental environmental issues.


The fight against pollution and environmental degradation cannot be won by an individual. Cooperation is required for the exchange of ideas and pooling financial resources. It is on this premise that the cross-European initiative operates.

Low Flow Shower Heads for the Environment


Low Flow Shower Heads for the EnvironmentA low flow showerhead saves the environment and up to $200 yearly on power and water bills. Previously, it was only possible to either have water saving shower or a great shower. However, with modern technology, it is now possible to have both. Continuous improvements and modern technology has enabled shower head manufacturers to produce shower heads that are more efficient in delivering a great shower feel with less water.

Some editors of sites claim that finding the best low flow shower head is easy at affordable prices but some suggest the advertised flow rate is faked by manufactured. Giving the difficulty ad finding high quality water this is an important question to answer. Most people do not have a choice and have to rely on municipal water supply regardless of the quality and price. With a great low flow shower head, it is now possible to control price and quality.

According to a study conducted by Mayer, an average shower lasts for 8 minutes. The flow rate of water using a standard non-saving shower head is 3.7 gallons per minute. Per shower, the water used stands at 31 gallons. The U.S Environmental protection agency stated that on average, water costs at $2 per 1,000 gallons. With a modern low flow shower head, it is possible to save quite a lot of money.

A low flow shower head is designed with different technologies and techniques such as reduced shower head size and pressure chambers. Low flow shower heads for the environment are designed to deliver a great shower experience while consuming less water. This helps to save water and heating costs. It is also doing the environment a favor by conserving this precious reserve.

Advantages of low flow shower heads

Low Flow Shower Heads for the Environment– Save water. They are wallet friendly and eco friendly thus saving the environment and reducing pain on water bills.

– Save energy. Using less water during a shower means less amount of energy used to heat the water. This reduces the electricity and gas bills.

– Great shower. Designed with modern technology, low flow shower heads give the user a great shower experience while using less water.

How to find the best low flow shower head?

To find the best low flow shower head, the first thing is to check the flow rate. A great shower head should have a flow rate of below 2.5 gallons per minute. Therefore to be able to save water, it is good to go for a shower head that has a flow rate of less than 2.5gl/m

The design of a shower head also determines whether it can save water while still maintaining optimum pressure. There are shower heads that come with a small compact head while others use air pressure system. The choice depends on the user’s preference.

Checking the quality is another thing that should help a consumer purchases the best low flow shower head. There are product reviews online which are informative based on users experiences with the products.

Some of the best low flow shower heads

– High Sierra 1.5 GPM high efficiency low flow shower head

– Niagara earth massage 1.5 GPM shower head

– Delta water amplifying shower head

– Flowise 3 Function Showerhead


Using a good low flow shower heads helps a user to save both water and energy bills. Water conservation translates to environmental conservation.

Water Softeners and the Environment


Water Softeners and the Environment 1About 60% of the United States has hard water supply. This means that it has high levels of magnesium and calcium that exist in the form of carbonates. This is contributed by leaching of rainwater through limestone rocks.

The most efficient and effective way of overcoming the effects of hard water is softening it through ion exchange processes through the use of water softeners. Although the use of ion exchange water softening method has several environmental impacts, the benefits are higher such as energy savings and a reduction in the consumption of detergents.

Environmental benefits

Energy consumption

According to work published in France, heating efficiency can be reduced by a 1mm increase in scale thickness by an average of 6%. Another study conducted by New Mexico indicated that gas heaters running on hard water consumed 29% more energy. Electric heaters using hard water consumed 21% more energy.

Consumption of detergents and cleaning agents

Water Softeners and the Environment 1It has been observed that soaps and detergents are used more than double in hard water. This is because hard water does not lather easily and create foam. To factor in the presence of hard water, detergent manufacturers add more phosphates. The environmental burden of bathing and laundry is increased with the softening additives and additional detergents. Since hard water has scaling effects on sanitary products, anti scalants are often added in areas that have hard water. Anti scalants tend to be acid based and costly thus have an environmental impact.

Fabric life

Studies have shown that softening of water increases the life of household items such as bath towels, pillow slips, and sheets by 40%. These are items that are frequently washed.

Environmental impact of softening

Consumption of raw materials

Equipment used for softening is manufactured from several materials such as plastics and metals which are highly recyclable. This equipment serves for many years and requires less maintenance. The only consumable product used during the water softening process is salt. Salt is an abundant commodity in nature including the vast geological deposits in the sea. Salt is easily extracted and processed. The only environmental impact is the energy used up during evaporation.

Salt discharge

Water Softeners and the Environment 1The water softening regeneration cycle discharges certain amounts of sodium chloride to drainage systems. This occurs as the sodium ions are added during the softening process. Studies done on sewage systems and septic tanks indicate that salt has no harmful implications. There are no long term environmental impacts since salt does not bio-accumulate. Modern water softening equipment has been designed with high salt efficiency. Therefore, the overall effect of sodium on the environment is highly minimized.

Water consumption

The backwash and regeneration cycles of water softening consume standard amounts of water. With the modern equipment driven by demand, wastage is kept to a minimum.

Soft water and metal corrosion

Naturally, soft water has always been associated with an increase in the corrosion of water supply equipment and systems. As such, there have been concerns that soft water might impact negatively on metal. However, the results of tests undertaken bv the US environment protection agency established that there are no significant effects on corrosion between softened water and hard water from the source. Read water softener reviews at


There is a clear indication that soft water has minimal impacts on the environment as compared to hard water. With modern water softening processes, the soft water will have almost negligible impact on the environment.

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying Faucets


3 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying FaucetsWhether you are buying a new faucet for your remodeling plan or replacing an old one, there are a few things to keep in mind. Faucets come in different forms and models. However, there exist very few performance differences among the different brands and models.

Faucet features

Majority of the sinks have mounting holes that have been drilled specifically for faucets. The number of holes in the sink should match with the faucet being bought. Extra holes in the sink can also be covered with a base plate. It is not advisable to try and drill holes in an existing counter top or sink.

There are in-faucet filters that play an important role in filtering water from the tap. There are also some faucets that come with soap counters, read more about that over at the Kitchen Faucet Center. These are very useful in reducing unnecessary clutter in the kitchen. Some faucet varieties also come with hot water dispensers for pot filling and hot beverages.

Spout style is another feature to consider in a faucet. There are straight sprout faucets that are quite affordable. There are gooseneck models which provide high clearances. However, gooseneck models are not advisable for sinks that are shallow since they may lead to splashing and water wastage. The choice made should ensure that the faucet head swings enough in order to reach whole sink.

Handles and sink use

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Buying FaucetsIt is easy to use and install single handle faucets. Their handle can be installed to the side or attached to the faucet. Those faucets that come with two handles have them designed for cold water and hot water respectively.

There are also hands-free faucets that give the kitchen a new dimension. They can be motion-oriented or touch and come with controls for both temperature and volume. These are faucets that can conserve a lot of water thus an ideal choice for those homes with kids.

The use of the sink should also be an important thing to keep in mind when buying faucets. There are those who wash a lot of bulky pans and pots. There are those who use faucets for bathing babies. It is recommended to purchase a faucet with a high arc to make the tasks more comfortable. For those with enough room in their kitchen, they can install a bar prep faucet attaching it at the side of the sink. This makes it convenient to separate vegetables and meat when cooking.

Faucet installation and repair

Faulty or improperly installed faucets can create leakages and loss of water. It is advisable to install faucets and sinks at the same time to ensure that the holes match. Faucets should also come with fittings that can be adjusted with a screwdriver for easy installation.

Faucet installations can be done in two ways. There is the top-mount and the bottom mount. Top mount faucets are attached with screws from beneath the counter. Bottom mount faucets are attached through the top with screws. The mode of installation or mounting chosen should be easy to do and compatible with the sink.


Faucets provide a great deal of uses in the kitchen. Before buying one, there are some few factors to consider. Faucets should also be a great way of saving water in the house.

5 Things to Consider When Getting a Hot Tub


5 Things to Consider When Getting a Hot TubA hot tub is meant to provide users with many years of enjoyment. However, the tricky part is comes in finding the perfect one for personal needs. There are a number of things to take into account before getting one and reading and learning about the various types of hot tubs, such as portable or inflatable, as well as learning about water usage and how the hot tub will fit into the environment are important things to consider. Reading about hot tubs online on sites such as the Inflatable Hot Tub Report is a good start before visiting a local retailer to see the hot tub and get more detail on the type you want.

Water care and maintenance system

Maintaining the water in the hot tub is important. This is both for health and enjoyment purposes. It is also advisable to determine the type of sanitizing system to use. The most common chemical sanitizer used in hot tubs is bromine. There are also automatic options, ionizers, ozonators, and mineral systems that automatically sanitize the water by dispersing the chemical. There are several water care methods offered by manufacturers.

Massage type and number of jets

There are people who prefer soft water back rubs while others for the more aggressive types of water jets. Although people assume that more jets are better, their adjustability, type and positioning should also be considered.

It is first important to identify the area of the body where massage therapy is mostly needed. After that, determine that number of jets preferred. For those who opt to use their baths with others, they the bath purchased should have options for each individual.

Installation location

5 Things to Consider When Getting a Hot TubA hot tub can be placed in different locations in a home such as gazebo, deck and in ground. However, the hot tub should be installed in a location with a firm level foundation. If the hot tub is to be installed in an existing room, then it should first be determined whether it can fit through the doorways.

As much as an indoor hot tub provides convenience, it is important to ensure there is proper ventilation. Build up of excess humidity can lead to structural damage to the house. If the hot tub is to be placed on a wooden deck, then the total weight of the spa, filled with water and total weight of expected users should be identified first.

Intended use of the hot tub

For those who want calm, quiet, and stress free soaking in the hot tub, then they should go for ones that have Zen like features. This includes, soothing bubbling systems, relaxing jets, contoured seating, and maybe a water fall for complete fun. If the hot tub is to be used for entertaining friends, then a model that has plenty of seating should be the best. It is not necessary to go for the largest hot tub but one that can seat up to eight adults.

There are some clients looking for hot tubs to help them through the rehabilitation process from injuries or surgeries. In such a situation, the person should purchase one designed specifically for such purposes. These have been developed with the input from health and medical professionals with helpful features.

Water conservation

Hot tubs are known to waste a lot of water. This is due to the fact that the water that gets used runs to municipal sewage system and thus wasted. However, there are some designs with inbuilt systems that can recycle the used water to be used again. This should be an important factor to consider. A hot tub with water recycling features will conserve water which means fewer bills.


A hot tub is a long term investment which requires huge capital outlay. As such, it is important to consider major factors before getting one. This saves unnecessary waste of money.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025?


How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025European countries have recognized that there is an urgent need to create policy that ensures that there is minimal greenhouse gas emission and that there is sustainable development. The fact is that European states can achieve a decarbonized economy and still retain the employment. Unfortunately, history shows that the rate of emissions is directly proportional to economic growth. In this light, some would argue that it is unrealistic to expect economic growth while cutting down emissions. However, the truth is that it is possible to strike a healthy balance between the two.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025?

European countries should employ the use of new technologies if they are to realize the objectives of having a 2025 green Europe. For example, the use of smart grids play a critical role in solving the electricity needs of a population while at the same time taking care of the issue of the environment. Thus, a paradigm shift in the technological policy will go a long way in helping Europe achieve green Europe goals by 2025.

Second, Europe should be ready to pay the cost of achieving a green Europe. For example, Eco-friendly systems are cheap in the long run. However, laying the infrastructure for a low carbon system requires high capital. Similarly, the transition from high carbon emissions to low carbon emissions may translate to a major disruption of the status quo. Such major and drastic disruptions can be expensive and time-consuming.

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025Third, the agreements made concerning the environment should be binding. Persons who hold office should be ready to enforce such agreements despite the opposition from dissident voices. Howe3ver, this does not mean imposing such an agreement on the people. On the contrary, leaders should put forward their rationale to the people and consequently win the hearts and minds of the people concerning the environmental cause.

Lastly, Europe must be willing to accept that there is a shard difference between the economic status of countries. On one hand, Western Europe has made great steps in building s strong economy that can cater for the needs of its citizens and residents, jobs for instance. By implication, such countries have the capacity, resources, and skills to invest in a green economy. On the other hand, Eastern Europe may not have the luxury of comfortably meeting the needs of its citizens. By implication, such countries may not perceive the environment as the first priority.

The European Capital Award

How to Achieve a Green Europe Within 2025European countries can learn a lot from the winners of the The European Green Capital Award. This award was launched in 2008 in order to recognize a European city that has an outstanding record in the area of the environment. The first winner of the award was Stockholm which secured the award in 2010. The perception of the reward is that the city in question has had a comprehensive approach in environmental policy and implementation.

The criteria for giving the award is based on the following:

  • Consistency in following the prescribed environmental standards.
  • Willingness to roll out ambitious environmental goals
  • Commitment to sustainable development
  • The European Green Capital Award


The value of a green environment cannot be underestimated. However, it requires a lot of planning and being faithful to its implementation. Perhaps, following the footsteps of the European Green Capital Award Winners is not a bad way to steps.

Water Usage and Environment


Water Usage and EnvironmentUse of water is essential in all organizations, businesses and other human activities. However, wasting water can have serious implications on the environment. Wasting water can lead to over exploitation of existing sources which might result to scarcity locally, nationally and globally.

The scarcity of water can contribute to far reaching consequences. Not only will drinking water be affected but also the production of food. Landscapes can also degrade and be altered when there is insufficient water. Over-extraction of underground water reserves can also have negative implications. Water tables can fall below levels where rain water cannot recharge them.


In the UK, there are systems which are already in place to remove toxins which can be harmful to water. This is mainly happening at the water supply sites. Cleaning and pumping of water requires energy. Most of the energy used in water cleaning is derived from fossil fuels. These fossil fuels are also getting depleted with time. There is also emission of additional greenhouses which is creating further damage to the environment.

In the United States, the water sector is among the sectors that consume a lot of energy. The same scenario is also observed in the United Kingdom. According to a study done to assess the sustainability of water indicators, the water industry consumed more than 8650GWh of energy. This is enough energy required to run more than 5.5 million television sets nonstop for a whole year. For businesses and homes that run hot water systems, the emissions of carbon are even much higher. This is because the energy used during water heating must be taken into consideration.

Pollution effects

Water Usage and EnvironmentUse of water affects the local water quality. What this means is that the process purifying and cleaning water is difficult and requires high amounts of energy. There exist clear guidelines regarding the discharge of water. Most countries release sewage to the sea. This can lead to diseases and sewer material damaging the beaches. There also exist a big problem with regard to disposing of non-sewage items such as nappies, sanitary towels, oils, medical equipment, and fats. Such items can lead to blockage in sewers, damaging infrastructure and causing human health problems. There are more extreme cases which involve disposal of chemicals into water sources. Such activities can destroy biodiversity making the water purification harder and more energy intensive.


The pollution of water can create serious effects on aquatic animals such as fish, invertebrates, and mammals. High concentrations of pollution agents can lead to the extinction of certain water animals. Lower levels of pollution can also damage aquatic life. Low levels of contaminants down the food chain can accumulate high up in the food chain and affect animals such as birds, fish and mammals. These pollutants can also affect humans after consuming aquatic animals such as fish.

Water use and conservation

In New York State alone, more than 8.9 billion gallons of water are withdrawn daily from estuaries, streams, rivers, and lakes. Water is extracted to be used for public supply, agriculture, thermo electric and other uses. This is just an indicator how much water goes into human activities alone.


Although human beings cannot live without water, it is important to use it properly and to cut down on wastage. Water sources must also be protected from pollution and over extraction.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Tankless Water Heaters


Benefits of Energy Efficient Tankless Water HeatersHeating water can account for about 30% of a home’s energy demands. As a result, finding any method that can assist one to cut down on their energy needs is highly appreciated. The tankless water heaters do exactly that. These models have many benefits to offer homeowners. Anyone who wants to overhaul their water heating system should consider one of these water heaters.

The tankless water heaters only work when the water is required. By the end of a single year, homeowners could almost cut in half their water heating expenses. This should be the biggest pull for a homeowner to install a tankless water heater.

The other advantage is that they have a longer lifespan. Tank based water heater suffer from many problems. In addition, the parts used are quite expensive to replace. As a result, when the water heater loses something, it is cheaper to buy a whole unit. This means that tank water heaters have a very short lifespan.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Tankless Water HeatersOn the other hand, tankless systems can last for up to twenty years. If they undergo regular checkups, they can last even longer. In addition, if they do ever require repairs, most of the parts are quite cheap. For instance, an electric tankless water heater uses common spare parts, which can be got from a radio shack.

The other area of concern is the safety of the system. Tankless systems have an excellent record of accomplishment of safety. The reason for this is that they only work when needed. As a result, if there is a problem with the system, there will be someone to realize it. However, tank water heaters operate continually. Even if a problem developed, there would be no way for one to realize it until it was too late.

Tankless water heaters are also quite reliable. This can help to save a user countless hours in a year. With tank water heaters, one has to wait for the unit to heat up some stored water. This could take forever, depending on whether the water was very cold. With a tankless system, one does not have to worry about this. The system heats water immediately one needs it. This can be quite convenient for those who are in a rush.

The tankless water heaters come with lower upfront costs. For instance, if one lives in a small home, small unit costs little. This can be quite advantageous for people experiencing a cash crunch. Combined with the energy savings, this can give one time to save enough to buy a bigger tankless system. They also occupy little space. This can free up space for use in a home when one installs a tankless water heater. It also eliminates the need to have specially modified rooms to store the tank water heater.


Installing a tank or tankless water heater is a matter of personal preference. However, people who install these units have nothing but praise for them. In addition, these units come with recyclable parts. As a result, one is also contributing positively to the environment when they purchase these units.