Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

The psychology of the waters

Many studies have shown that time spent in nature, fresh air and a green environment has benefits not only for our bodies but also for our souls and minds. In addition to mountains, forests and meadows, waterfronts are particularly attractive destinations.

Water is the source of life, a fundamental condition for life on earth – thus the ancient instinct of attraction to bodies of water and the love of water is present in all cultures. In recent years, a number of studies have looked at the effect that proximity to water has on our mood and mental state. The results have shown that waterside locations have a positive effect on our sense of wellbeing.

During their research, George MacKerron (University of Sussex) and Susana Mourato (London School of Economics & Political Science) mapped the mood of over twenty thousand subjects using a smartphone app. Participants evaluated their mood at various locations, which were tracked by GPS. The results showed that people felt significantly happier when near the waterside.

Studies show that people feel happier near water Photo: Shutterstock

Other research has shown that the blue colour of water also plays a significant role in making us feel good, as the colour blue has a calming effect in itself. Japanese scientists set up an experiment in which subjects were asked to play a difficult computer game in rooms with blue, red or green walls. Those in the blue rooms felt less tired and had more normal heart rates than compared to the players in the other rooms.

Along with the blue colour of water, the sounds it makes also have a calming effect: another Japanese study has shown that splashing water noises have an effect on the activity of the prefrontal cortex similar to meditation. So spending time in nature, particularly at the waterside, recharges not only our bodies but our minds and souls as well – yet another reason to protect our waters.

The colour and the sounds of water both help us relax mentally Photo: Shutterstock

Source in Hungarian: Mindset

Shaping attitudes the Danish way: free kayaking in return for picking up waste

Protecting our waters against pollution is in all our interests. It is no accident that an increasing number of initiatives are trying to engage society at large in taking part in the protection of the environment. The Danish NGO GreenKayak, for instance, offers free kayaking in locations around Northern Europe and all they ask in return is that kayakers should pick up waste they find in the water along the way.

50 foods that could save Earth

From cacti through algae and vitamin-rich flowers to drought-resistant root vegetables, Knorr and WWF have compiled a list of 50 nutritious foods whose consumption would be more advantageous for human health, while their cultivation would benefit our planet relative to our present dominant food sources.

Climate change on the catwalk

A number of fashion designers have reacted to climate change and its consequences with their collections shown at the Paris Fashion Week.

The five steps of saving water

Clean water is a great treasure, yet we waste a lot of it for no good reason: for instance, a dripping tap can waste up to 75 litres per day. It is our obligation to save water: it leaves more for others, and we can also save money.

How to avoid polluting the Earth with our clothing

The fashion industry is one of the most harmful for the environment: it wastes water, pollutes the air, encourages overconsumption, wastefulness and also produces massive quantities of waste. The damage caused by the monthly replacement of fast fashion collections on the shelves of fashion stores would fill a very long list. But how can we counteract it?

Overeating fattens ecological problems, too

Most people are aware that any unnecessary calories we ingest are detrimental to our health, but few consider that food consumed in excess of our real needs – and the energy, water and other resources used for its production – is of little utility, it is practically wasted.

Sustainable materials for the fashion industry?

The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries of all: it produces microfibres and chemicals and uses huge quantities of water while making 150 billion new articles of clothing every year. The environmental load caused by the fashion industry causes inestimable damage, and the best way to counteract that is to choose clothing made of more sustainable textiles. But where are they?

New perspectives for the feast table – or what on earth is insect marketing?

Food waste is a growing problem in developed countries. Massive amounts of perfectly edible food is thrown away because of merely aesthetic blemishes. The psychological factor behind the phenomenon is disgust, which may apply in relation to edible insects, as well. That attitude ought to be reconsidered from a climate protection perspective.

Washing tips to reduce the quantity of microplastics

In recent years, a new concept related to environmental pollution has gained wide-ranging recognition: microplastics. The term denotes pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm resulting from the break-up of plastic items. During washing, clothing made of synthetic fibres sheds many microfibres that pollute our waters and damage our environment.

Are drastic lifestyle changes required to protect the climate?

A BBC article suggests that people’s personal responsibility doesn’t stop at reducing car traffic: eating and shopping habits must also be rethought.