Category Archives: Environment

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Heavy Flooding in Hong Kong due to Blocked Drain Systems

Everything went on a standstill in Hong Kong when the black rainstorm warning was issued for the first time this year. The downpour flooded streets and submerged cars. Shopkeepers scrambled for sandbags to keep out the flood waters from their stores. According to the Drainage Services Department, drains were blocked with rubbish and tree branches.

A surreal scene was caught by the camera outside Shau Kei Wan Market where a taxi was submerged up to its windshield by the floodwaters. There were also pictures of waters reaching a height of 1 meter in a car park at a residential area in Quarry Bay. There were 17 reports of flooding, 18 of trees falling and 3 regarding landslides.

The hardest hit area was Shau Kei Wan where the flooding problem became severe in the last few years. The Drainage Services Department said that it is planning to replace the system with something better that could cope with strong downpours. Flooding was already serious last year but it has grown worse this year because it was knee-high along the tram line.

District Councilor Lam Sum-Lim said that the drainage department told the district council last year that the drainage could handle heavy rain but it seems like the department is not living up to its promise. Lam urged the drainage department to hurry in unblocking and replacing the drains if necessary. Another district council suspected that the drainage systems have aged and the department must consider investigating them.

Hong Kong Observatory issued a black rainstorm signal, the highest in a three-tier system at 11:30 AM on a Wednesday when almost all workers have reported to their work but was downgraded to amber after an hour. At 3 PM, all signals were cancelled. Workers were stuck in their offices because the black rainstorm warning was in effect.

Budget Drains offer unblocking and unclogging services for drains using the latest equipment. There is an emergency response team that will provide the necessary maintenance services so that the drain system will operate efficiently. All work and services provides are guaranteed and insured for your peace of mind.

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Comcast’s ‘Xfinity Home’ Now Has Philips Hue Intergration

Comcast and Philips recently announced their new partnership, last May 19. The partnership program was dubbed the Friends of Hue.

The partnership program started to ensure that Philips Hue products and their ecosystem are able to properly and efficiently interact with their partnered devices, systems and application. To facilitate integration, Philips Hue provides the complete API, whilst handling the testing of related products and auxiliaries as quality control.

The Friends of Hue program is also looking for, and is open to, luminaries manufacturers, if they are interested in creating and selling products that have Philips Hue tech integration. The first Friends of Hue, are Modular Lighting Instruments and Luceplan.

They introduced a new update for the Xfinity Home, Comcast’s home security system. The new update introduced built-in integration in Xfinity Home for Philips Hue allowing users to control Hue bulbs from the convenience of the Xfinitiy Home app, as welling setting rules that allows synchronizing Hue bulbs with the Xfinity security system.

The integration will allow users to have Hue bulbs to turn off when the security is turned on whenever they leave the home, or have the lights turn on whenever the alarm is deactivated. There is also plans for allowing customers who have both Xfinity Home and Xfinity’s X1 TV service to utilize the voice control remote to interact with the Philips Hue lights.

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Xfinity Home, Daniel Herscovici released a statement, saying that this new partnership with Philips Lighting was born out of the company’s commitment to ensuring the best services for their customer. The integration of Philips Hue lights into the Xfinity Home platform, he said, will allow homeowners to easily manage their devices in the platform for their convenience.

He elaborates, saying that the integration will allow customers to customize their homes’ lightings to suite their specific needs and routines, as well as allowing for the set up of automated commands for further convenience; such as activating lighting when the home security system has been properly disarmed.

Mark Cieri, vice president and general manager for Philips Lighting US, has expressed the company’s approval of this partnership and its new product, stating that it helps their aim in ensuring customers are as comfortable in their homes as possible.

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Spiders Undertaking Pest Control For Nature

According to a new study, more than 500 species of spiders can be found in Wisconsin. In the study that was published in The Science of Nature, spiders are the greatest carnivores on because they consume between 400 million and 800 million metric tons of different insects, springtails and invertebrates every year. This means that spiders can be credited as nature’s best pest control.

Michael Draney, a biologist that heads the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, the amount of meat that people eat from fish and animals are similar to what spiders are eating as insects. This gives people an idea on how important the spider population is to the world’s ecosystem.

However, even if spiders are very critical to the success of pest control, they still have a bad reputation because they look scary and they are being blamed for unfamiliar bites on skins. According to Draney, only a small fraction of the 45,000 identified spider species actually bite people. It is more likely that in the past generations, there were large spiders that frightened people.

It is very improbable for an individual to be bitten by a spider in Wisconsin because it is outside their range. Sometimes, skin conditions are misdiagnosed as brown recluse bites that people get from a variety of causes. While brown recluses may be venomous, 90% of the bites heal even without medication.

Researchers have estimated the global population of spiders at 25 million metric tonnes. In Wisconsin, spiders have to make the effort to survive harsh winters. Spiders do not freeze at 32oF because their blood has anti-freeze compounds. At 25, 20 or 15 degrees Fahrenheit, spiders can freeze unless they are able to find a sheltered area. Draney advises people not to mind spiders because they are certainly not interested on humans.

If your home has ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, fleas and termites, Perth pest control will take care of eliminating these pests. Products used for pest control are carefully selected so that they will not cause adverse health effects and environmental problems. Your protection is the main objective of cost effective pest control in Perth.

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Are Carpet Cleaning Products Safe For The Environment?

According to a study that appeared in the Journal Environmental Science & Technology, a chemical that used to found in pesticides and more recently in carpet cleaning products was believed to be ingested by wildlife in North America. Dolfins, fishes and birds have been tested positive for perflourophosphinic acids, a common chemical used for a variety of purposes from stain resistant carpet sprays to non-stick cooking surfaces.

Several pesticide formulations in North America and Europe contained perflourophosphinic acids but beginning 2006, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has restricted the use of such chemicals in pesticides because of identified human and environmental risks. The United States restricts the use of these chemicals in carpet cleaning and in the manufacture of pesticides but unfortunately, Canada permits them.

Environmental scientists believe that perfluorophosphinic acids are being used in for commercial products including those used for rug cleaning. The Canadian government conducted a small scale experiment on 102 residential dust samples in Vancouver from 2007 to 2008. 83% of the household dust samples contained perflourophosphinic acids.

A survey of aquatic organisms was also funded by the Canadian government. Blood samples were taken from one type of fish, one type of bird and one type of mammal across North America. Different types of species occupied separate and distinct environmental niches. Concentrations of perflourophosphinic acids were detected on all the species.

The chemical is known to linger in the environment because sunlight, water and microbes are unable to break them down in small harmless chemical components. The mechanisms of the environment being able to clean itself do not apply to this complex chemical. Even human blood samples from North America were detected to contain the chemical; however, there are no published studies on its effects on humans or on other organisms.

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How The Fabric Of Roller Blinds Can Reduce Energy Consumption

Perth’s best roller blinds are simple and elegant and can provide an uncluttered way to dress a window. With various styles to choose from roller blinds present the perfect opportunity to personalize a room. An open weave fabric can allow a certain level of privacy and eliminate glare and heat. A Translucent fabric will allow sunlight inside a room yet provide privacy.

Screen Nature Ultimetal is part of Hunter Douglas’ roller blind range EOS 500 with the innovative modular roller blind system that has about 300 interchangeable components. Hunter Douglas has launched a new line of sun control fabric that can reduce energy costs on GCC buildings by at least 25%.

In order to demonstrate the strong potential for building sustainability, GCC has hosted 1,235 LEED-rated projects with 837 (68%) in UAE based on the report of Ventures Middle East. UAE is the region’s leader when it comes to Green buildings. Dubai has the most ambitious plans to be energy efficient by 2030 at a cost of US$ 820 million.

In order to support sustainable buildings, Hunter Douglas has released the new Screen Nature Ultimetal sun control fabric that reflects 70% of solar energy that strikes buildings to substantially reduce energy costs. Skyscrapers have a lot of glass and new Screen Nature Ultimetal can cut the amount of energy necessary for cooling by 25% by blocking out glare while minute holes allow for light and openness.

Skyscrapers in particular need advanced solutions to cope with harsh daylight while seeing to it that people enjoy comfortable climate and visibility. Screen Nature Ultimetal addresses sustainable sun control while providing visual appeal and thermal performance and substantially reducing energy consumption.

Screen Nature Ultimetal is made from fiberglass material with reflective aluminum layer. It is fire-safe and free from PVC, odors and toxic vapors. PVC is not an environmentally friendly option in terms of production and recyclability that is why the yarns used in Screen Nature Ultimetal have the patented organic coating that offers excellent protection. The fabric cuts into half the solar heat gain coming from windows so that interior temperature will remain pleasant during summer without the need for additional cooling.