Archives for posts with tag: biodiversity

Let's clean up the world

Those who buy a product are increasingly more informed and conscious of the importance of preserving our natural heritage and increasingly more willing to carry out an active role in environmental protection. These people want to know whether the object they are purchasing has been manufactured in compliance with a philosophy and a production process that respects the environment and protects the health of Man. Many companies call their products “ecological”, but “ecological” means “no environmental impact” and we know very well that nothing constructed by man has no impact at all on the environment.
Due to the fact that there is no such thing as a law that establishes parameters to define a product as “ecological”, industries can use this adjective at will, and this creates confusion and mistrust in the consumer. Therefore, for clarity and to develop a critical conscience, a purchaser of consumer goods must gather information to understand whether the product concerned has really been designed and constructed respecting the environment. For centuries, profit has been the main aim of industries. The consequence is that important aspects such as product quality, safety and non-toxicity have been overlooked. Therefore, respect for the environment and for Man, which should be the first concern of a company towards the world and its inhabitants, is not often translated into actions that are worthy of mention.
All this has resulted in an abnormal consumption of resources, the pollution of the earth, of water and of the air and the accumulation of a large debt with nature that grows exponentially to the detriment of future generations. Practical and ethical reasons impose a U-turn in order to transform the destructive economy of the industrial era into a new way of conceiving the production of goods and services that contemplates the recovery of our planet’s health and improves the quality of our life.

Valcucine has been pursuing the satisfaction of the consumer’s needs for years by continuous and in-depth research into ecologically-sustainable design (green design). This means planning and manufacturing durable, recyclable, dematerialised products having very low toxic emissions, or even none at all, and that do not use wood coming from primary forests.

Clean Up the World is a community based environmental campaign that inspires and empowers communities from every corner of the globe to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment. Now in its 18th year, Clean Up the World, held in conjunction with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), mobilises an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries annually, making it one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world.
The campaign brings together businesses, community groups, schools, governments and individuals in a range of activities and programs that positively improve local environments. Since the first Clean Up the World campaign in 1993 the improvements achieved due to the efforts of millions of concerned volunteers around the world have been astounding.

This year’s issue is biodiversity: although protecting biodiversity can seem like a complex issue there are a wide variety of simple actions that individuals and communities can take to make a difference. Here are just a few of the possible options that Members can choose from:

  • education programs
  • planting trees
  • waste reduction and recycling projects

Examples of community-led Clean Up the World activities include:

  • Recycling and resource recovery
  • Tree planting
  • Education campaigns
  • Water reuse and conservation
  • Competitions
  • Exhibitions
  • Fix up projects.

While participants are encouraged to hold environmental events on or around CUW Weekend (always the 3rd weekend in September), Clean Up the World is also designed to provide support to groups undertaking activities throughout the year.
Clean Up the World is associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and is supported by, and collaborates with, a range of partner organisations in various countries.

Find out more on Clean up the world here

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Today is Blog Action Day! We want to take part to it by analysing the causes of global warming, as the more we know about it, the more we get aware of its risks and be able to act against it.
Global warming is one of today’s major plagues of the Earth planet and its inhabitants. But what is global warming? So, should we prevent global warming or should we use our resources and skills to adapt to its effects?
There is a current debate about this that reveals two different approaches. The first, mitigation, is about limiting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the atmosphere mostly by reducing human polluting activities. An example for this is the Kyoto Protocol. The second approach, adaptation, is about diminish society’s weakness to the consequences of global warming.

With the term ‘global warming’ we refer to the long-term set of changes affecting the planet’s climate, that is the overall increasing of the Earth’s temperature. As all living species depend on climate trends, global warming is a phenomenon affecting everybody.
Global warming directly influences the climate trends, so that it determines the rise in the number of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, heat waves and droughts. Besides, the natural habitats, the biodiversity, and the overall quality of life are at risk. It is therefore important to understand the risky situation characterising out planet today. To do that, let’s now make a list of the different effects of global warming.

DISAPPEARING OF FORESTS
According to recent studies, only in the last 30 years the human activities have destroyed almost a third of the forests. As a matter of fact, about 10% of the planet’s land area is still intact forest, the boreal forest and the tropical rainforest. The forest loss directly influence the loss of biodiversity.

LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
The planet Earth is characterised by a wide diversity of living species, the biodiversity. Therefore, the Earth has an inestimable value, recognized by all human cultures around the world. Natural biodiversity has many implications and has to be protected. The currently estimated extinction rate of vegetal and animal species is about 1,000 times faster than before the human presence and it is expected to increase around 10,000 times faster in the next 40 years.

SPECIES EXTINCTION
The planet Earth is characterised by a wide diversity of living species, the biodiversity. Therefore, the Earth has an inestimable value, recognized by all human cultures around the world. Natural biodiversity has many implications and has to be protected. The currently estimated extinction rate of vegetal and animal species is about 1,000 times faster than before the human presence and it is expected to increase around 10,000 times faster in the next 40 years.
Many scientists believe the planet Earth is experiencing the first mass extinction since the dinosaurs’ death about 65 million years ago. The last IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in Barcelona has released a Red List of the living species at risk of extinction. In particular, the List speaks out that about 40% of 44,838 species catalogued are at risk, with over 3,000 of them classified as “critically endangered”, that is they are highly likely to dying out.

GLACIERS’ MELTING
Another effect of global warming is the glaciers melted, has revealed by scientists. In the past this process was normal, but today glaciers are melting so fast that they are going to vanish from the earth forever. In fact, the increase in the world temperature prevents the falling snow to replace the amount of melting ice that normally melts.

RISING SEA LEVELS
As a direct consequence of glaciers melting is the increase in the sea levels. As a consequence of this, the sea level is expected to rise of 50 centimetres by 2100. Such an event would threaten areas such as Asia, where million of people live very close to rivers and flood plains.

WATER SHORTAGES AND DESERTIFICATION
The growth of world population in addition to the increase in the temperature levels, the demand of water is rising as well as the amount of desert areas. The World Bank has revealed that today 80 countries suffer from water shortages that threaten the quality of life. Besides, about 2 billion people have no access to clean water.

REDUCED TOURISM
Because of global warming and mass tourism many natural areas, considered as ‘real wonders, are disappearing. The biodiversity is dying out. So the most popular vacation areas, such as the Carribean coral reefs or famous ski resorts, can no longer be granted.

POPULATIONS AT RISK
The changes the precipitation and temperature can damage food crops, disrupting food production in some parts of the world the as well as contribute to the rise in the amount of insects that bring and spread dangerous illnesses.

UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In the last years, the quality of life has got worse: the world population increases daily as well as the amount of necessary amount of natural resources. Il 20% of the population consumes more than the 80% of the available resources. If the remaining 80% of population had the same consumption opportunities, 5 planets Earth would not be enough to satisfy everybody’s needs. Increasing the consumes, the man produce also a huge quantity of waste, damaging the ecosystem and seriously menacing the natural environment and biodiversity.

The effects of global warming are more and more spreading all over and are going to worsen the more we wait to take action and change our life-style. Let’s take action today!

Valcucine is doing its part in contrasting global warming reducing the enormous debt with the environment that Man has accumulated to the detriment of our planet. In fact, Valcucine has implemented some reforestation projects, so that the trees planted can transform the carbon dioxide created by industrial production into oxygen and so that the quantity of wood used to make furniture can be replaced.

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For several years, Valcucine has created calendars inspired to topics such as craftsmanship, creativity and natural environment.

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The calendar for the year 2009, made on a limited edition for Valcucine international showrooms, focuses on six topics that appeal to the respect for Mother Earth’s eternal laws: the safeguard of forests, the commitment in maintaining the air quality, the protection of insects, the respect for marine species, the safeguard of biodiversity and the effort in contrasting the glaciers’ melting.

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biodiversity

The planet Earth is characterised by a wide diversity of living species, the biodiversity. Therefore, the Earth has an inestimable value, recognized by all human cultures around the world. Natural biodiversity has many implications and has to be protected.  To understand the importance of diversity in our life let’s use a metaphor: the forest.

Let’s imagine that we paint all the elements in a forest (flowers, plants, soil….) the same colour, in this case green: it is now all the same colour. Now let’s imagine that everything that is green becomes of a single material, i.e. plastic: it is now all of the same material. We can now imagine that everything that is plastic becomes shiny and that everything shiny has the same surface texture; we now have the same texture and reflection. Now let’s imagine that the light is of one kind and evenly distributed: light is the same everywhere. Lastly, we can add constant background music: we now have an even and unchanging sound. In this way we have completely cancelled any diversity from the forest. This sameness in terms of colour, matter, surface, light and sound is negative because it creates a feeling of oppression and a lack of freedom. On the other hand, diversity corresponds to freedom of thought and expression: lack of differences would be an unfathomable loss for Man. In nature too, the reduction of the complexity and diversity of species is a negative factor. We are witnessing to an authentic tragedy, i.e. the progressive decrease in biodiversity is undermining the very delicate ecological balance of our planet in terms of its ability of cyclically transforming itself to renew its resources.

ECOLOGICAL VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY

It is worth mentioning here the ecological and cultural values of biodiversity, as revealed by the David Suzuki Organization. The following natural cycles make Earth hospitable by moderating temperatures and climate, and by providing us with food, clean water and breathable air.

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