On March 31, 2012 at 8:30pm, we are going to be offline. Why? Because it is Earth Hour 2012. We are going to turn off our lights to fight against climate change! Are you going to participate? We are counting on you!!



Tiago Zegur
This is not a new thing at all; this is 
actually much older than you and 
me. The term Eco-Mobility may 
be new, but the principle stems 
from the beginning of human history.
Eco-Mobility is basically any  
environmental friendly way of transport. 
Most of the people on the globe 
could be eco-transported but for 
several reasons they are not doing it. 
This type of mobility is not only healthier 
for people who adapt to it, but it is 
also environmentally friendly, as it reduces 
the emission of volatile organic 
compounds, oxides of nitrogen, benzene, 
formaldehyde, polycyclic hydrocarbons, lead, 
sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and carbon 
monoxide into the environment. 

Why is air pollution a problem?

Air pollution may have effects on the development of the human fetus

Ever since the industrial revolution, we have been polluting the air relentlessly and without any shame and everything has been fine one might argue. However, car exhausts can lead to serious health risks. Once exhaust emissions are released into the air, they are breathed in and reach our bloodstream which flows through all of our major organs. According to BBC News, there are 24,000 premature deaths in the UK due every year to vehicle emissions of which many people suffer from respiratory problems. Air pollution also has serious effects on the hearth. It is estimated that one in every 50 heart attacks in London is caused by air pollution. Furthermore, lead can cause changes in behavior, harm mental function, lead to memory problems, inhibit important enzymes, interfere with our cell metabolism and thus slow down the circulation of oxygen and essential nutrients in our body. Benzene leads to a reduced number of blood cells and might even cause bone marrow loss.  Carbon monoxide also has serious effects on our body’s ability to transport oxygen and provide the tissues of our body with it. Due to the exposure to toxic chemicals, the immune system might start to attack the body’s own tissues which can cause the blockage of blood vessels and increase the risk of high blood pressure and coronary diseases. And last but not least, it has been proven that being exposed to Benzene for long periods of time can cause leukaemia. Through experiments on animals, it could be shown that polycyclic hydrocarbons can cause cancer. It has also been found that air pollution can have serious effects on the human fetus. Evidence has been presented that environmental toxins can cause premature births. Babies may also be born underweight or with birth defects. In these cases, the risk of death is much higher during infancy and those who survive are more likely to develop brain, respiratory and digestive problems in the future. 


Cruise ships are powered with heavy crude
oil. According to the environment
association NABU, a cruise ship emits
the same quantity of pollutants during one
cruise as 5 million cars on the same route.
That definitely does not make them
“eco-friendly”. The US Federal
Environmental Protection Agency estimates
that in a single day, passengers on a
typical cruise ship will cause

·         “21,000 gallons of sewage
·         one ton of garbage
·         170,000 gallons of wastewater from sinks, showers and laundry
·         More than 25 pounds of batteries, fluorescent lights, medical wastes and expired chemicals
·         Up to 6,400 gallons of oily bilge water from engines
·         Four plastic bottles per passenger – about 8,500 bottles per day”

The EPA further states that ships incinerate the majority of their garbage, thus contributing to the pollution of the air, especially in coastal regions and on the ocean.
The bad news is that the cruising industry is huge, generating billions of dollars every year. In 1970, ships were only accommodating 600-700 people while nowadays, 5000 people find room on the luxury cruise liners which are growing rapidly due to the strong demand.   


Tiago Zegur

Our Ancestors Did It the Right Way

Once upon a time, humans were living in harmony with the flora and fauna on Earth. Whether in Africa, Asia, America, Alaska or Oceania, every civilization knew how to extract resources without destroying the Earth. They knew the secrets of nature, the importance of ecosystems and they knew how to live in harmony with other species; they respected the Earth. However, the more we developed the more destructive we become and that is how we got to where we are today. With time, societies began to step on each other and we lost the focus and the control of the situation. Now we are trying to reverse the damage we have done and go back to the point where we were less destructive, less aggressive and less overriding.    
We have become aware of the damage we are causing on Earth and we want to stop it but it is not every society, community or country that wants to join this cause. Fortunately, this movement is becoming more popular, even though not as fast as some eco-friends might hope. 

Some might inculpate the developing and emerging countries for massively destroying the environment and neglecting environmental protection with the aim to compete with the industrialized countries. However, who is really responsible for the ecological dilemma we are in?

The Greendex, an Annual Survey made by the National Geographic Society showed the most environmentally friendly countries in the world in 2010.

And the Greendex goes to...India!!

The objective of the survey Greendex is the establishment of regular quantitative measures of consumer behavior and the promotion of sustainable consumption. Within the framework of this study, 17,000 consumers were interrogated in 17 countries. They were asked about their behavior in relation to energy use, conservation, transportation preferences, food sources, the use of green vs. traditional products, attitudes regarding the sustainability and awareness of environmental issues. 


Companies are increasingly receiving pressure to integrate environmental principles into their general strategy. The reduction of our carbon footprint, the use of renewable resources and recycling are no longer foreign words to us but who is really implementing it? Is there a company that has integrated environmental management into their business strategy? Is it possible to be financially successful, a world leader and still invest in sustainability? Lufthansa shows that it is! Lufthansa has adopted 15 guiding principles on the basis of sustainability into its Strategic Environmental Programme.

  1. Lufthansa has increased its efficiency by reducing carbon emissions since 1991. Goals for 2020 is reducing CO² emissions by another 25% in comparison to 2006 levels. 
  2. Lufthansa has furthermore contributed to the improvement of the air quality by reducing nitrous oxide emissions by 50% since 1991. By 2020, a reduction of 80% is to take place by means of new technologies. 
  3. Lufthansa is intensively investing in new fleets. The largest fleet-renewal programme is currently under way and until 2018 Lufthansa intends to put 202 new aircrafts into service.  


A Truly Organic Makeup
Jennifer Tehraud

NVEY ECO is an eco-friendly cosmetics company that has been developing and distributing eco-friendly makeup since 2005. It was certified as organic by Natrue, an international non-profit organization that awards cosmetic companies its label.  The label guarantees that the company and its products adhere to the strict standards of Natrue. Companies have to demonstrate that their ingredients are truly natural and organic, their manufacturing processes do not excessively pollute the environment and corporate practices are environmentally friendly.                                                                             


Ecotourism in Patagonia
Jennifer Tehraud

Nowadays, more and more people are starting to attach importance to the issues of climate change, respecting other species, earth-friendly diets, reducing our carbon footprint, waste management and the use of renewable resources. It is clear, that humans are headed in a direction where they will not be depriving the planet of its natural resources but they will learn to protect them and use them in a sustainable way. The protection of the environment is becoming just as important as the growth of markets, financial success, technological progress and new ways of entertainment. 

What does ecotourism mean?
The principles of ecotourism include the prevention of actions that harm or destroy the environment, the creation of environmental and cultural awareness, the support of local communities at the tourist destination, the financial support of companies which actively promote and implement ecotourism and conservational measures and the respect of the political, environmental and social situation of the country of destination. The International Ecotourism Society (TES) defines ecotourism as follows:
Ecotourism is a responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people”.