Why We Need Reptiles In Our Environment and Ecosystem

reptiles in our environment

When you mention reptiles, most people will tell you how they fear these animals. In fact, not many people across the world are friendly to reptiles, especially when it comes to snakes. Not many people can hold a snake and other reptiles. A mere site of most reptiles scares most people.

But what some people may not understand is the numerous benefits that reptiles have to our environment and the broader ecosystem. The main reptiles that we have alive today include snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, and alligators. You can find some of them at the snake ranch. So, what the main roles that these animals play in our environment and in balancing the ecosystem?

Here are the main ways that these animals help to keep the environment clean and the ecosystem balanced.

Pest Control

Controlling pests is one of the crucial roles that is played by reptiles. Most of the pests, including insects and rats, mice, and other rodents, are prey to reptiles. If the population of pests goes unchecked, then we are likely to have a severe infestation, which would mostly destabilise the food web due to the depletion of food at the bottom of the food chain. With reptiles eating most of the pests, then their population is kept in check to ensure a balanced ecosystem. Reptiles such as snakes help to control rodents hence keeping their population balanced. It is also important to note that some of the rodents carry dreadful diseases, and thus, their infestation could affect humans and other animal populations.

Fish Control

To keep the aquatic ecosystem balanced and super healthy, then marine food chain must be appropriately balanced. That’s the role that crocodiles and other reptiles in the wetlands play. They prey on fish, and this controls the fish population from overgrowing. If the fish population grows out of control, then it would deplete organisms they prey on and eventually starve to death. That would collapse the entire food chain in the long run. That’s why it is essential to have reptiles in wetlands to help control the fish population and other herbivores in the water.

Eating Dead Animals

For other animals in the ecosystem to thrive and live comfortably, the environment must be clean. Cleaning the environment for a healthy ecosystem is a role that is extensively played by reptiles. Due to their indolent lifestyle, some of the reptiles rely on carcasses. A good example is the Komodo dragon, which is one of the biggest lizards in the world. These lizards feed on dead animals, hence playing a critical role in cleaning up the environment. Even other reptiles such as crocodiles also feed carcasses. Therefore, we need reptiles to keep the environment clean by removing dead animals.

They Are Prey

In the food chain, reptiles are prey to other animals in the ecosystem. Do you know that there are some birds prey on reptiles? Well, there are predatory bird species such as hawks, osprey, vultures, falcons, eagles, and owls that feed on reptiles. Apart from hunting reptiles for survival, they also help in controlling their population. Imagine what would happen if the population of snakes and other reptiles is not controlled. It is also essential to note that shark prey on turtles in the seas. So, reptiles also play a critical in maintaining a balanced food chain. Without them, some of the animals would go extinct.

green snake on a tree branch


It may not be visible to many people, but reptiles play a critical role in the farming sector. There are many ways that some of the reptiles roaming on the land have been instrumental in promoting farming. One of the crucial areas that reptiles are useful is in controlling the population of rodents and insects that destroys farm produce. Snakes are the best when it comes to managing the population of mice and rats. The small lizards in our farms help in controlling most of the destructive insects in our farms. So, we need to protect reptiles if we are to get the most out of farms. Otherwise, pests would make it challenging to maximise on farming.


Most people don’t know that certain species of plants rely on reptiles for pollination. Reptiles, including snakes and lizards, come into contact with plants most of the time. As they go around the plants, they usually pick pollen and transfer it to the other plants for pollination. That is how various species of plants have managed to survive for millions of years. Without some of the reptiles such as blue-tailed gecko in the Island of Mauritius, it is believed that the Trechetia Blackburniana plant would have gone to extinct.

Temperature Indicator

Reptiles have over the years been used as temperature indicators by scientists. Due to their high sensitivity to temperature changes, scientists have been used these animals as an indicator in detecting a change in temperatures in certain regions. Since reptiles live in both water and land, it is easy to use them as a sign of even slight temperature change on both land and wetlands. Therefore, when it is difficult to identify even a slight change in temperature using conventional technology, these animals provide accurate data by just observing their behaviour. Therefore, they are very useful in research work.

Human Interaction

The interaction of humans and reptiles different from culture. However, humans have never been friendly to the reptiles and vice versa since they are competing apex predators. Some reptiles like crocodiles prey on humans and vice versa. Some of the reptiles, such as turtle are a delicacy in various cultures like the Chinese. It is also essential to note that some of the reptile products such as snake venom have been used for the production of vaccines and medicines.

Reptiles play a critical role in maintaining a clean environment and a balanced ecosystem. As predators, they help to control the animals they prey on below the food chain. They are prey to apex predators as well as competing predators. So, there are many benefits that come we get from reptiles, and that’s why we should protect them from exploitation.

Pros And Cons Of Solar Panels

solar panels

As the world continues to fight climate change, one of the key areas that have been given much attention is the adoption of clean and renewable energy. These are some of the options that are promising to address this problem. Among the best options is solar energy.

Solar energy offers numerous benefits compared to most of the available green energy options. It is reliable and its renewability is natural. But what is this energy?

What Is Solar Energy

Solar energy is a form of energy that comes from the sun. It is tapped using a solar panel, which is a gadget that converts sun rays into electrical energy. That means every time that there is sunlight, the solar panel is able to produce electrical energy. Considering that a considerable part of the world receives sunlight for more than 10 hours, solar energy is among the most reliable energies.

How Solar Power Works

A solar power system works as a unit with one of the components being panels. It is also important to note that the solar panel does not store electrical energy. So the second thing that you need to have is power storage, where the collected energy will be stored. You, therefore, need batteries to store the direct current (DC) electricity from the solar panel. That is how you store power for use in the night when there is no sunlight.

If you are using AC power in the house, then you can convert the stored DC power to AC. That means you can use solar energy and complement it with the authority AC power supply. Therefore, you don’t need a new wiring system when installing solar power.

Pros of Solar Energy

No Greenhouse Gases

This is one of the cleaner energies in the world.  It does not release greenhouse emissions, which is responsible the global warming. It will, therefore, help in reducing carbon gases released in the air. One of the biggest damages that greenhouse gases have to the environment is the killing of plants. In areas that are heavily polluted acidic gases such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides, they experience acidic rains. If we adopt solar energy, we will decrease acid rain, hence promote tree and other plant growth.

Clean Harvesting

When mining fossil fuel, a lot of energy from fossil energy is required to drive the machines. This contributes to the release of more greenhouse gases to the environment. It is also important to note that a lot of water is used for fossil fuel mining. That is not the same solar energy harvest. There are carbon gases releases and do not require water. There are no damages to the ecosystem with solar energy, such as acid rain that destroys tree and plants.


Solar energy is renewable. As long as we have the sun, we will always harvest electrical energy. So it will never go to extinction as we expect with fossil fuel. It is a natural resource that we will enjoy for a very long time. According to scientists, we have at least 5 billion years when the sun is expected to die.

Every One Can Have

There are all sizes of solar panels, including a panel for the smallest items such as watches, phones, and so on. There are affordable options, especially for writing purposes. Therefore, if those with a small budget can install a solar power system. That is why it could be the best solution to environmental degradation.

Less Energy lost In Transport

Unlike the grid, solar power system does not lose energy in long-distance transport. For the grid, the lost energy is compensated by producing more. That means burning of more fossil foil. The result is an increasing environmental degradation. Solar power system offers a better efficiency since the energy lost in transport is insignificant.

Cons Of Solar Panel


Although it is said to be the cleanest energy, it also contributes to pollution in a couple of ways. During the manufacturing of panels, energy is used; hence, contributing to greenhouse gases. It is also transported from the factory, which also causes pollution to the environment. In addition, some of the materials used the construction of panels and battery is also unrenewable.

High Initial Cost

The solar power systems are expensive to install, especial for high demand homes. You need a lot of money for the initial installation. Therefore, most people in the low-income category may be unable to adopt this energy due to cost issues.

Even with a few cons, solar energy is one of the best solutions to climate change. If we adopt it, we will be able to decrease greenhouse emissions, and the impact on the ecosystem will be incredible. It is clean energy that will also help us improve the vegetation cover by increasing the number of trees and other plants.

Water Pollution: Ways To Help Prevent It

water pollution help we need

Water pollution is one of the biggest problems the world is struggling with today. With the increase in population, industrialisation and agricultural activities, water pollution has reached unprecedented levels. In fact, access to safe water globally is in a crisis stage.

Apart from animals and humans, plants are also hugely affected by water pollution. In some cases, the water is so polluted that even plants cannot survive it. Fortunately, there are several things that we can do to improve the situation. But first, what is water pollution.

When Do We Say Water is Polluted?

Water pollution is the pollution of water bodies such as underground water, rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans. It happens when pollutants reach these bodies untreated. Most of the pollutants come from homes in the form of raw sewerage, industrial effluent, and farming chemical, amongst others. When these components get into the water, they not only make the water dangerous for human use but also plant use.

How Water Pollution Affects Trees and Plants

The rarely discussed issue is how water pollution is adversely affecting plants. One of the biggest problems caused by polluted water is acid rains. If the ocean, sea, or lake has acidic water more than normal, it affects the acidity of the rain in areas surrounding them. Such rains damage plant leaves and bark and eventually killing it. So, it destabilises the ecosystem by removing trees and plants that would be absorbing carbon gases.

Chlorosis or yellowing of leaves is another problem caused by polluted water. It is mostly caused by acidic water. Yellowing affects photosynthesis, and it eventually kills the plant. Farming chemicals and other toxic chemicals affect the pH of water and soil. When pH is messed up, it affects the solubility of nutrients. The result is weak plants that can’t help the ecosystem as expect. These are ways water pollution is contributing to climate change by killing trees and plants that absorb carbon dioxide.

How to Decrease Water Pollution

There are several ways we can reduce water pollution and reverse the effect it has on trees and other plants. Most of them require us to change our lifestyles. Here are the best ways to reduce water pollution.

Stop Disposing Toxic Chemical Recklessly

Some of the chemicals that end polluting water include cleaners, solvents, herbicides, and pesticides, amongst others. Most of these chemicals find their way into the water due to reckless disposal. If you have a hazardous waste collection, then you need to dispose of chemicals into it instead of putting then together with the rest of the household trash. If there is a local chemical recycler, take them there to help reduce water pollution. With that, you will also promote the growth of healthy trees and other plants.

Maintain Your Machinery

Heavy Machinery Technician

When your machinery’s engines are not properly maintained, they are likely to leak oil and petroleum. The two, amongst other pollutants to do not dissolve water, and thus, they end up polluting the water. If this water comes in contact with plants, especially the leaves, they will block the pores. So, no gaseous exchange and photosynthesis will take place. Eventually, the plants will die, and that is environmental degradation. That is why it is important to ensure that your machinery is in good working order to avoid water pollution.

Use Green Detergent

When you use chemical-laden detergents, some of these chemicals, if not all of them will find their way into the water. But if you go for the green options, then no dangerous chemicals that pollute the water. That’s how you save nature by ensuring that plant growth is not affected by harmful chemicals.


Instead of using synthetic fertilisers that end up polluting the water, you should start composting. What you need is a container where you can put all organic trash to decompose. In a few days, the garbage will turn into a fantastic natural fertiliser. You can use it for farming instead of buying the synthetic one that is laden with dangerous chemicals.

Reduce Meat Consumption

Commercial animal farming is one of the most significant contributors to water pollution. This type of farming produces a lot of waste, with most of it, finding its way into the water. If we reduce meat consumption, we will help to cut the supply. The result will be a reduced commercial animal farming. That’s another way that we can help reduce water pollution at the individual level.

Stop Flushing Medicine

Most people have a habit of flushing medicines that they do not need down the drain. What you may not know is that pharmaceuticals have chemicals that can destroy plants. Therefore, we should stop flushing antibiotics, birth control pills and so on down the drain.

Water pollution is increased by the demand created by us for certain products. Our daily life also plays an important role. If we can change how we do things, we can make a big difference in reducing water pollution.

This Tree Grows 40 Fruit Types

40 fruit type tree

Can you imagine a tree that grows 40 fruit types? Well, that is what you get from Sam Van Aken. The professor from Syracuse University and a technician of grafting has done the unthinkable. He has expanded the limits of plant grafting to produce a magnificent tree like never before.

If you look at it from a distance, it looks like a typical tree. But as you get closer, it is a different thing. From the flowers, types of leaves to the different kinds of fruits, this is an awe-aspiring tree like no other. What is interesting about this tree is how hybrid fruits grow together and acquire multiple flavours from other varieties.

According to Professor Sam, this tree is an ongoing project that aims at devising unique fruit hybrids. But it is a new project. He has been around for eight to nine years, and that results are fantastic. So far, he has been able to work on several trees that are already producing the said number of fruits. There are also those that are already holding multiple grafting. And he is not stopping. His aim is to explore the limit to which grafting can get extended and the possible outcome.

However, his initial idea when starting this project was probably to have a tree that can produce 40 fruit types. He actually wanted to make people experience the beauty of a tree that can blossom all different types of flowers as well as provide multiple varieties of fruits. But as the project grew, the technician of grafting tried to push the limited, and the outcome was amazing. So far, he has grafted numerous trees that grow 40 different types of fruits.

It is also essential to note that Sam has been grafting stone fruits for all his trees. The reason could be the structure benefits that these varieties have over the other varieties. Most of the stone fruits have very steady branches that can support many fruits. The trees are also easy to graft, and they adapt really. That is one thing that makes them a perfect choice for this kind of project.

The grafting work is not difficult; it may appear, but require a lot of expertise to get it right. According to Sam, he creates his trees through chip grafting or chip budding. This is an easy type of grafting where a chip of wood containing the bud is cut off the scion, and a similar shape chip is cut out of the rootstock. The scion bud is placed in the cut part of the rootstock and grafting tape is then used to hold the new bud in position.

Gardening work

After a few days, the new bud will start growing, and it will form a branch, which will grow a hybrid of fruits. That is what Sam is doing to create his “Tree of 40 Fruit.” He just takes budding branches of the fruit tree that he wants and transplants it to his tree.

What makes the Tree of 40 Fruit an attraction is not just the fruits but also its flowers. Having 40 different types of fruits means that you are likely to experience 40 different types of flowers- based on colours and shapes. So, you can imagine having such a tree in your compound during spring when most of the plants are flowering. The experience is amazing.

During summer, you get to enjoy a bumper harvest of 40 fruit types from each of the trees. Note that all of these fruits are hybrids of each other, and thus the taste and the smell are definitely unique from the typical fruits. So, with just one of these trees, you will be enjoying a range of fruit varieties. So why plant a garden of trees when you have a single tree growing more than what your garden can provide? That is what Sam Van Aken is providing.

Sam is not only providing a tree that can grow 40 fruit types but a tree that grows lesser available fruit varieties. So, he has made it easy for fruit lovers to have one single tree that can grow all the fruit varieties that are difficult to find.

This is a fantastic project that will not only change how we do fruit grafting but also how we grow fruits. You might not need a fruit garden any more if a single tree that grows 40 different fruits varieties.

How To Decrease Our Carbon Footprint?

carbon footprint

In the face of climate change and the adverse effect the planet is facing, the issue of greenhouse gases tops the list. Studies have shown that one of the biggest causes of environmental degradation is greenhouse emissions. From our daily activities, we are squarely responsible for the increase in these gases. However, if every one of us can reduce their carbon footprint, then we can make the planet safer for everyone.

Carbon footprint is the greenhouse gases – including nitrous oxide, fluorinated gases, methane and carbon dioxide and others – that every one of us produces on their daily life. That means we have to produce a small amount of greenhouse gas that can be absorbed by the plants to balance the ecosystem. There are ways that we can change our lifestyle to reduce our carbon footprint:

Here Are Ways That You Can Decrease Your Carbon Footprint:

Eat Less Red Meat

Most people have never connected the relationship between eating meat and climate change. Whereas fossil fuel is the biggest contributor to greenhouse emission, agribusiness –where meat production is categorised- produces a lot of emissions as well. In fact, animal agriculture produces between 13% and 18% of the greenhouse gas emission when fossil fuel accounts for about 64%. So if you eat less red meat, it means that the demand for animal agriculture will go down hence fewer animals. Reduction in animals means lower greenhouse gases and reduced pressure on the vegetation. Therefore, more tree and other plants will grow, making the planet a better place.

Drive Less

Use of vehicles one of the biggest contributors to the high carbon footprint. We have millions of vehicles that burning fuel at any moment on our roads; hence, contributing to massive greenhouse emission. If we can drive less, it would make a huge difference in reducing our carbon footprint. It is also important to note that acidic gases from fossil fuels such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides create acid rain. We also know the kind destruction this acid rain causes on the vegetation. So if you drive less, you will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also save trees and other plants.

Switch to Renewable Energy

The most used primary source of energy is fossil fuel and coal. That is because they are easy and cheaper to use. They are also reliable and available on demand. But they contribute to the highest amount of greenhouse gases. The solution is going for cleaner energy that does not produce greenhouse gases and other acidic gases such as sulphur and nitrogen oxides. Solar power is one of the cleanest sources of energy everyone can install at home. It has no greenhouse emissions, and thus it will decrease acid rains. With nr acid rains, the number of plants and insects will increase significantly. So, we will have a more balanced ecosystem.

Reduce Energy Use

The amount of energy you consume on your daily life can affect not only the quality of air but also the number of plants. If you have electrical equipment such as refrigerators, air conditioning systems and other HVAC systems, then you need a lot of electrical energy to power them. That means more coal or fossil fuel will be burned to provide energy. What you need is use your appliance when you need them and keep them in the highest efficiency. Keep your fridge at full capacity. You should also use your HVAC appliance when you need it. Put the AC unit in sleep mode during the night to save energy. That’s how reducing energy consumption will lower your carbon footprint. It also decreases acidic rains hence promoting the growth of trees and other plants.

Grow Your Own Food

growing own food inside home

Of the carbon footprint of every in Australia, a good percentage of it comes from food. That includes the energy used for transport, the use of synthetic fertiliser, and so on. If you can grow your own in the garden and use compost manure, then you will significantly help to reduce your carbon footprint. Less energy will be used to bring the food on your table. So, you will have a reduced greenhouse emission including sulphur, nitrogen oxides and other acidic gases. The result is reduced footprint and acid rain, which promote tree and other plants.

Decreasing carbon footprint is something we must all do to make the planet a better place. These are some of the things that you can do at a personal level to support nature conservation. If we do this all of us, the result will be incredible. We will have a more balanced ecosystem, with improved vegetation cover.

7 Ways To Save The Environment

ways to save the environment

The extent to which the environment is damaged is worrying. As of now, we are experiencing devastating weather pattern changes that are causing poor food production, catastrophic flooding, and rising sea levels, amongst others. All this because of environmental damages.

At a global level, countries are taking drastic measures to reverse damages to the environment. But we can do something at an individual level to improve the situation. Here are several ways that we can adjust our lifestyle to save the environment.

#1 – Eat Sustainably

Some of the food productions are a major contributor to the loss of global biodiversity, which eventually degrades the environment. For instance, we must reduce our red meat and dairy consumption since it contributes to greenhouse emissions. Red meat consumption also reduces the vegetation cover on the planet. Animal agriculture also takes a lot of water, which affects the environment negatively. So, reducing the amount of meat and dairy products will help reduce greenhouse emissions, save water, and help increase the number of trees and other plants. All these factors will help make the planet a better place.

#2 – Print As Little As Necessary Less

Printing destroys the environment. Every paper that you print is a tree that is removed from the forest. It is in simple terms the destruction of the forest. If you print less and print when necessary, you will reduce the demand for papers. That means fewer trees will be cut, and that’s plus to the environment. So, the level of deforestation will start reducing hence more trees and other plants. When the vegetation cover increases, the carbon gases in the air is reduced because there will be more tree to absorb it.

#3 – Save Electricity

For every kilowatt you consume, fossil fuel or coal is burnt.  Therefore, you need to use electricity only when necessary to reduce environmental damages. Switch off lights and instead use sunlight during the day. If you are not at home or in the night, switch off your air conditioning system. If you have a refrigerator home, make sure that it is in full capacity always. That is how you help to reduce the amount of greenhouse and acidic gases in the air. Note acid gases- sulphur and nitrogen oxides- are responsible for acid rain that destroys plants. So, saving electricity promotes the growth of more tree and other plants to improve the ecosystem.

saving electricity

#4 – Avoid Driving When Possible

Vehicles are harmful to the environment, but most people do not understand this. Vehicles are the biggest consumer of the fossils fuel, and that is how they damage the nature. Just consider that we have millions of them on the roads at any moment. If you can reduce the use of vehicles, then we can make a huge difference in saving the environment. You can walk to work instead of using a car. You can also consider using public transport to help reduce greenhouse emission as well as acidic gases. The impact will be decreased acid rains, which will promote the growth of trees and other plants.

#5 – Try Composting

Another way that you can contribute to saving the environment as an individual is composting. If every one of us can compost at home, we can reduce a huge percentage of the trash going to the landfills. That will help reduce the energy that could have been used to transport the trash. The impact is reduced greenhouse gases and acidic gases that create acid rain. So, will have a healthier vegetation cover, including more and healthier plants. Compost is used as organic fertiliser for farming hence reducing reliance on synthetic fertiliser.

#6 – Use Reusable Bags

Using reusable bags help to reduce pressure on the environment. You will help to reduce pollution by decreasing waste using these bags. Reusable bags also reduce production pressure hence saving energy. So, you will be able to reduce greenhouse emission and acidic gases from factories. With reduced acid rain, the number of trees and plants will increase. The increased number of plants will then help to reduce greenhouse gases.

recyclable paper bags

#7 – Use LED Lights

If you are still using the incandescent lights, then you are promoting environmental degradation. They consume more electric energy hence increasing greenhouse gases, including acidic gases. You need to replace these lights with LED lights. These bulbs consume less energy, therefore, reducing greenhouse gases and acidic gases. That is how you increase the number of trees and other plants in the ecosystem.

Saving the environment is something that we must do all to make the planet a better place for all. Changing our lifestyles is one of the best ways that we can contribute to saving nature.

Paradise on Earth


paradise on earth

An arboretum refers to a botanical garden or a collection of trees and plant species that often gives off a beautiful sight. It is perhaps among the most beautiful things to see especially when you travel. This is one of the most unique places you can visit when you come to a place. You will love this especially if you are one who has an exceptional liking to nature. Even though you are not one who is a nature lover, it is hard not to even just appreciate an arboretum.

There are still arboretums that exist around the world. There is one in Norway and in Germany. Another one is located in Ukraine too. But many arboretums are located in England, one of which is the Westonbirt Arboretum which you should definitely not miss if you are traveling to this country. The said arboretum is located in Gloucestershire. Among all the many different arboretums that can be found in the country, the Westonbirt Arboretum is perhaps the most popular and the most important. This is a part of the Westonbirt House estate and is even included at the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest. From being under the care of Robert Stayner Holford, an enthusiast in gardening and landscaping, Westonbirt Arboretum now is already under the watch of Forestry Commission.


If you are traveling to England from Phoenix, it goes without saying that Westonbirt Arboretum is something you should never miss. This will give you a scenic view no matter the time of the year you decide to visit. In fact, it is better that you visit once during different seasons because each one will give a different view of the arboretum. But like in many parts of the world, the most beautiful view comes during fall or autumn. The view is simply so breathtaking that you should not miss it.

Westonbirt Arboretum is one of the most visited arboretums also because of the different plant species that can be found here. There is a variety of rare plants that you cannot access elsewhere. There are two areas that give the best views and they are the Old Arboretum and the Silk Wood. While both exhibit exotic trees, each is still unique in their own way. For instance, you can find trees at the Old Arboretum that dated back from many years ago. You will not easily feel overwhelmed here because trees and plants are labeled appropriately for your information. You can say that as you enjoy the views offered here, you can learn a lot at the same time.

Here at Westonbirt Arboretum, you will not just be able to take a look at the different scenery but you can enjoy different festivals and music events as well. You should regularly check out the calendar to Westonbirt Arboretum so you will not miss the happenings in the area. If you want, you can sign up for our newsletter so that you can get updated.