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Environment UK

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Thu07272017

Last update10:36:16 AM GMT

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Soil: Earth’s environmental engine room

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Imagine yourself leaning contentedly on a farm gate bathed in the warmth of the late evening sun. A buzzard, wheeling lazily overhead, calls plaintively to a distant mate but is ignored by sheep contentedly grazing the pastures below. All is peace and harmony. At least, that is how it seems.

Unheard, and therefore unnoticed, is the frenzy of activity going on beneath the very ground on which you stand. Underneath the apparently peaceful pasture, vast armies of soil microorganisms – equivalent in weight to 1,000 sheep for every hectare – are at war.

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How indoor plants affect us

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It’s simple; we can’t live without plants. That’s why there is such a big furore about the devastation of the rainforests. They stop soil erosion but also, very importantly, they act as the lungs of the earth, providing oxygen for us to breathe and absorbing much of the carbon dioxide in the air.

You will probably ask what this has to do with a humble indoor plant in my home or office (or other workplace).

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Where there’s a political will, there’s a green way - by NICK CLEGG MP, leader of the Liberal Democrats

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On the path to a lower carbon Britain are untold opportunities for greener living, many of which we are currently failing to embrace. We often lack the imagination, the foresight and the dedication to apply blue-sky thinking to environmental problems; as a result we fail to see how we can make the most of our everyday resources to help tackle challenges such as climate change.

Where we’ve missed out on opportunities we often see other countries forging ahead – on use of renewables for example – showing how those countries where governments have taken the environmental agenda seriously are leaving the UK sadly lagging behind.

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A green roof can be a declaration of sustainability

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Due to their very wide range of environmental and economic benefits, green roofs have come to be important elements of sustainable and green construction in many countries.

Moreover, because they can be highly visible, they also clearly and outwardly signal an intent for sustainable building and can give a very positive and distinctive image to a building or development.

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Greening of the concrete jungle is here to stay - by DUSTY GEDGE

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My organisation hopes in the coming years to be able to provide a directory of small and medium-sized companies that can not only help meet the demand but also help to make a difference to the built environment in the UK. And we want to encourage people to build their own green roofs on their sheds, outhouses and flat roof extensions – and their whole house if they can.

Green roofs are not new: there have been roof gardens in London since Victorian times. What is relatively new in the UK is the idea of whole-scale greening of major urban developments, using technologies and systems developed in Germany in the late 20th century. This is not down to the whim of an individual houseowner but is being driven by local authorities and city governments. And the reason is simple: climate change – whether the reason is for storing rainwater, encouraging wildlife, improving the wider environment in terms of cooling and the reduction of air particles or increasing access to green space in dense urban developments.

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