Latest Entries

Dangerous Fly Ash

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Recently, we have been hearing about the disastrous effects of nuclear power stations. But have we ever wondered that radiation which is much worse than that emitted by nuclear power station may be closer to home! All countries which have at one time or another used coal for their power stations have a deposit of fly ash. This fly ash produces radio active waste which is very hazardous because it has a high concentration of uranium and thorium. Although fly ash is often deposited in remote areas, it is often close to farms especially in densely populated countries like Malta. Locally, there is a four storey fly ash waste dump site at Benghajsa. Besides affecting people and being a great eyesore, the radio active waste is leached into the soil and aquifer and also into the nearby sea destroying biodiversity. Is there no better solution for these dumping sites?



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Acid Rain

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Acid rain causes several environmental problems. Acidic gases are produced when fossil fuels, like coal and oil are burned in power stations, factories and in our own homes. These gases are blown in the sky, and mixed with droplets in the atmosphere creating weak solutions of nitric and sulphuric acids. When precipitation occurs these solutions fall as acid rain. Acid rain poisons fish in lakes, it damages the leaves of trees, stopping them photosynthesising. Ancient statues or buildings that contain calcium carbonate and are renowned for their architectural beauty, all show signs of corrosion. We can prevent acid rain by conserving energy. The less electricity we use in our homes, the fewer chemicals, power plants emit. Vehicles are also major fossil fuel users so we can walk, ride a bike or use public transportation. Reducing pollution and controlling emissions can help to fight acid rain for a better environment!



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Sea Cucumber

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This is a picture of a sea cucumber I saw when snorkelling at Mgarr ix-Xini, Gozo. This strange looking creature intrigued me as I had never seen anything like it. It belongs to the group Echinodermata which are often found on sandy sea beds. Sea cucumbers are sausage like creatures, around 30 to 40 cm long, with bumps or spines on their leathery skin. They feed on tiny creatures, plankton and algae. They are harmless but when they feel threatened they contract and shoot out water. They can also secrete a very sticky substance which acts like glue and if it gets on your skin it’s almost impossible to remove. Sometimes, in defence, they even shoot out their internal organs and then grow them back again. Sea cucumbers are considered as a delicacy in Chinese cuisine and some even believe they are aphrodiasiacs.



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Is the Solar Water Heater as efficient as they say?

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Some students interviewed 8 households which have installed a solar water heater over the past years – some even owning one for a good 10 years. The article discusses the overall idea of why the solar water heater is a good investment to the Maltese households by the people out in the street.

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The Eco-friendly house

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Students discuss the features of the eco-friendly house and give suggestions of how in Malta we can save energy in our households for sustainable energy use therein.

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