Ways in Preserving the Environment

Are we aware in preserving the environment? Is there any thing we can do about it? Let’s take a review how important habitat is and how to preserve it.

1. Join the Green Movement

There are many organizations, at a local, national and international level devoted to preserving the environment. Together they form the “Green movement.”

Whenever a habitat is threatened by industry or development, the Green movement takes the side of the environment. These groups already enjoy considerable public support, but their most important work is education. Unless people understand how threats to the environment affect them, they cannot appreciate the importance of preserving habitats.

Many farmers are sympathetic to the Green movement, despite the pressure to grow the maximum amount of food. Some make an effort to preserve small areas of woodland and hedgerow and are careful not to spray these areas with pesticides. A few have turned their backs on modern methods and use no chemicals at all, either in pesticides or fertilizers.

2. Organic Farming

Farming without chemicals is known as organic farming. In several countries, organic produce has become very popular. Because no chemicals are used to grow the food, there are none to enter the human food chain. In addition, by choosing organic produce, people think they are also choosing to save the countryside.

3. Saving the Rainforest

In the developing countries, action is finally being taken to save the rain forests. In Africa, the Ivory Coast recently banned all timber exports. In Central America, the government of Panama made it illegal to cut down any tree more than five years old. Such actions show great determination, because timber exports have been a major source of income.

It is difficult to persuade poor people in developing countries of the importance of saving the forests. They need more food and want to use the land to grow it on. What is at stake is not just our enjoyment of nature, but the future of life on Earth and our children and grandchildren to see the beauty of the Earth.

“Freelance writer loves everything for a brighter shine.” Visit MS Sapayan’s blogs by clicking these links http://www.rsapayan.blogspot.com/ & http://www.zuleikarhizz.wordpress.com/

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Air Pollution and the Environment

Whether we want to admit or even think about it, air pollution is a real problem, one that continues to affect our environment and our lives each and every day. Although people who live in rural areas can easily forget that such a problem exists (as they do not see smog and factories on a daily basis) or remember its causes (fewer cars on the roads), it is a very real problem that affects everybody. At times we simply can’t ignore this pollution. For example, when driving past a factory pumping smoke clouds high into the sky, or when standing in a traffic jam smelling the exhaust of the car in front of us, it is hard not to imagine what damage it is doing to our body.

What is air pollution?
Air pollution consists of various types of chemicals and gases being passed into our atmosphere. The main cause of this unwanted pollution is vehicles. Second to to that are industrial factories that release dirty and dangerous fumes into the atmosphere.

Why is air pollution dangerous?

  • Health reasons: pollution has been linked to numerous types of illnesses such as strokes, heart issues and breathing problems.
  • Global warming: air pollution is responsible for global warming. This phenomena leads to the gradual but persistent increase of the temperature of our planet. It has already started affecting entire ecosystems, and unless it is stopped, it will melt the polar ice caps which will raise sea levels. This will cause flooding in coastal cities such as New York and London.
  • Ozone layer: air pollution causes the ozone layer to shrink, thus, reducing its ability to shield us from ultraviolet radiation. This not only causes skin cancer, but also damages wildlife and plants.
  • Acid rain: certain pollutants can cause rain to turn to acid rain. This has a great impact on animals, fish and plants that are soaked in it. Acid rain can also affect the ground, making the soil toxic to many animals and plants.

How can we fight air pollution?

  • One way would be to use Hybrid vehicles. These vehicles produce about a fourth of the pollution of the average vehicle. Just imagine the global effects if everyone started driving such vehicles.
  • Using green energy, such as wind power, solar power, hydro electricity, geothermal power and biomass energy, rather than using fossil fuels for energy, would also have a large impact on air pollution.

Since this problem seems to only get worse in time, and we may reach the point where we damage the environment irrevocably, the only logical solution is that everybody embrace ways that reduce air pollution in the hope that it will eventually, some day, be eliminated. Perhaps the only way this can be achieved is through education: although most people are familiar with air pollution and how it occurs, and are generally aware of its effects, many would rather turn their heads the other way rather than deal with this ever growing problem. The only way to truly overcome this problem is to start with the young: if we, collectively, can get our descendants to permanently change their ways by learning from our mistakes, then perhaps there is still hope for our planet – and ourselves.

Please visit the Green Planet and Me: The Comprehensive Resource for everything Green and Eco-Friendly.

http://www.GreenPlanetAndMe.com

Specific URL to the article: http://www.greenplanetandme.com/2009/05/29/air-pollution-and-the-environment/

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5 Ways to Stop Pollution

Pollution is a very recent happening as compared to the evolution of this earth or the advent of human kinds. It is only about 5000 years old when people started copper smelting and toxic fumes, vapours and smoke started to infiltrate into the virgin environment. Metallurgical manufacture of iron sometime around 2000BC further coloured the blue sky.

Industrial revolution some two centuries ago gave pollution a permanent seat. There has been an exponential rise in pollutants in the last 50 years. With the advent of 21st.century, we find pollutants to be commanding the nature. We have environment of mass destruction such as greenhouse effect, global warming and several other such course deviations forcing us to imagining apprehension of peril knocking at the door.2012 is not far behind.

Since the beginning, nature enjoys in making, shaping and bringing up newer species into the world of ours. What it cannot do itself, it encourages mankind to do through discoveries and invention coupled with industrialization. However, economics of profitability and cut-throat greedy competence has attracted global gloom in the shape of pollution far too soon. Destruction is far easier than making.

Universe that we know teaches us many things about combating pollution and remaining clean. This universe is most dangerously hazardous than any place on this earth. With millions of nuclear bombardment taking place in our Sun, huge amount of universal debris roaming around, cosmic rays consisting of hazardous radiation, comets and sun flares, are some instances. These universal activities make our effort to turn the earth into a living hell too microscopic an effort in comparison. Yet, Universe has a system to manage things intelligently and constructively. It has a bag code named “black hole” which attracts the debris and the evils of the universe, stores all and manufactures a new universe in a cyclic order.

Perhaps this forced the eminent physicist, Stephen Hawking to voice that the laws of gravity rather than the intervention of a divine being set the Universe in motion.

We may read between the lines. The universe is our originator. Our entire anatomy is made up from the five basics of nature. These are soil, water, air, fire and the sky. The physics of universe is in us with a history sheet of DNA. We have only to try to obey the nature and the universe. The universe and by default, the nature adopt the five golden principles of conservation, minimization, reutilization, recycling and reconditioning. We may align ourselves to these only to mitigate pollution.

There are laws of conservation of energy and matter in place with Einstein theory of mass-energy conversion to debate upon. We can also conserve our energy and resources. You have only to apply your mind before doing anything and you will start getting results. For example:

• Take a walk for short distances.
• Use public conveyance.
• Work from home
• Use lift for ascending high rise only.
• Use appropriate technology to keep your rooms warm or cool.
• Add more green to your food.

Minimization or reduction of waste generation is another tool which we can use diligently to stop pollution from taking an upper hand. We generate almost half metric ton of municipal waste per person per year. The more you are affluent, more is the waste generation. Persons living in rural area or the aboriginals have almost zero waste generation. How sordid it is? Waste generation has become a signature of affluence and literacy. We know that an efficient machine or process produce less wastage. We may refer to a car engine.Unburnt fuel comes out in the form of toxic emission signifying inefficiency and adding to cost of travelling. We, the general mass, have some very effective strategy in our hand to minimize waste generation such as:

• Become a paperless white collar in this IT age.
• Compost green discards and use it as manure in the kitchen or container garden.
• Use biodegradable material.
• Use minimum non-bio-degradable and dispose such waste to an appropriate agency for recycling or appropriate disposal.
• Share

The art and science of reutilization is the hallmark of one’s ingenuity and intelligence. It is very easy to throw away a used article in the trash but it takes a bit of your brain and your mindset to reutilize the same object for some other useful purpose. For example, you can use an old newspaper for covering a book or for wiping a mirror or wind glass. I know of one of my gold medalist college friend who used an old news paper for revising notes once with a pencil and then again by a pen. Similarly, used tea leaves are very good for rose plants and to maintain porosity in the soil. You just brainstorm before deciding to throw and you will find one or two meaningful use of the discard. You may donate old clothes to some social group for disbursement among the needy.

Recycling and reutilization are complementary to each other. These days, the actual profit lies in recycling so-called waste into some useful bye product. Almost all industries have mastered this art. You can also become a bit richer by recycling odd things that you consider to be altogether rejects. Some are:

• Your kitchen discards are the principal source of waste. Make some delicacies from the leftovers. Make new dishes with vegetable skins highly recommended by health specialists. What about chicken soup from chicken claws?
• Recycle green waste into composted manure.
• Use close circuit measures to recycle water as pushing water from the source to your house takes considerable energy and added energy in disposing it to a distant central location for discharge into the stream or river or for further treatment and recycling.

Reconditioning is an age old concept widely in use. Primitive men used to recondition animal’s skin for their daily wear. If strategic sectors such as rail, road, machine building, dams, tunnels and the likes do not use reconditioning measures in good time then disaster may have an easy presence. If one does not recondition and opts for new alternative all the time then cost and labor may sour sky high. There are now industries which are specialist in reconditioning. Car is the one. You can also adopt reconditioning in your house. You will get inspiration from one important fact. Vintage and antiquity have become a status symbol. Even a 100 year old father or mother in good condition have a useful presence and is adored, appreciated and acclaimed.

You were always worried about increasing your profitability and saving. Here is a golden opportunity to double or treble your assets without investing anything and on the contrary doing your worthwhile to recoup the lost environment.

PN Singh

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Electronic Waste – And it Was Really As Dangerous As This

Electronic-waste (or e-waste) is a collective name for trashed electronic items like obsolete PCs, laptops, fax machines, cell phones, batteries, consumer electronics etc. As we are about to see, it is fearfully difficult to dispose off e-waste safely since it is loaded with several highly toxic (poisonous) and harmful substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium (chromium VI), polybrominated flame retardants etc. that are not found in other forms of human waste. The lightning speed of growth of the Information Technology (and now mobile telecom) industry is leading to fast-growing piles of e-waste worldwide, particularly in developed nations, and unless they are quickly and safely disposed off, e-waste is going to take its huge, fearsome and absolutely irreversible toll on all life and the environment soon.

Now comes the question, why is it such a big problem to get rid of e-waste? Isn’t it just as easy as getting rid of other forms of human waste? The answer is a very blunt NO! E-waste does not lend itself to current forms of municipal waste disposal i.e. by practices such as landfilling and incineration. Here’s the reason why. Metals lead, mercury and cadmium (all of which are found in e-waste) leach out of landfills, leading to serious soil and groundwater pollution. Incineration (or waste destruction by burning), on the other hand, is crippled by other limitations. Typically, the incineration process creates slag, fly ash, flue gas and filter cake. When e-waste is incinerated, the burning of the plastics component generates highly toxic dioxins and furans while high concentrations of metals, including heavy metals are left in the slag and fly ash. Hence the incineration method results in dangerous air pollution and hands us another toxic by product at the end – slag and fly ash! In other words, it gives us another waste problem to deal with, without really solving the original one! Safe e-waste disposal requires use of specialized mechanical and chemical processes by which recyclable components like mercury, gold, copper etc. are first recovered and the residual matter is chemically treated and rendered harmless to life before being disposed off in landfills/incinerators.

As mentioned above, the major toxic components of e-waste are 1. Lead 2. Cadmium 3. Mercury 4. Hexavalent Chromium 5. Plastics & 6. Poly-brominated flame retardants. The major health and environmental hazards caused by each are described below, in brief. (Note: The author has taken sincere efforts to present the hazards (below) in DESCENDING order of severity but makes no claim (or guarantee) of accuracy)

LEAD(*): (A) Severely affects central and peripheral nervous systems (one extreme hazard being impairment of brain development in children) (B) Adversely affects blood, kidneys and the endocrine (or hormone) system (C) After crossing a threshold limit of concentration in the environment, has acute and chronic toxic effects on plants, animals and micro-organisms

CADMIUM(*): (A) Cancer of lung and prostate (B) Kidney damage as cadmium accumulates in the kidneys and acts first on it

MERCURY(*): Brain Damage in humans (in the case of developing fetuses causes mental retardation, incoordination, blindness, seizures, inability to speak etc.). (Mercury enters humans through the food chain, particularly via contaminated fish. This happens when the mercury contained in e-waste dumped into oceans/ rivers/lakes is consumed by fish and other aquatic micro-organisms)

HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM (Chromium VI)(*): (A) Allergic conditions even if consumed in small quantities e.g. asthmatic bronchitis (B) Damages the reproductive system in males (C) May cause DNA damage.

PLASTICS: Burning of plastics generates highly toxic dioxins and furans (exact hazards have not yet been publicly made known)

POLY-BROMINATED FLAME RETARDANTS(*) (PBDEs or Poly-brominated Diphenylethers): (A) Endocrine (hormone) system disruption-particularly reduces levels of thyroxin, an essential hormone needed to regulate the normal development of all animal species, including humans (B) Other neuro-toxic effects in infants and the young of animals.

For reliable and detailed information on the hazardous effects of any of the above substances visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) website and navigate to the name of the substance you want to know more about via the A-Z index provided. For example, to read about hazards arising from Lead, click on ‘L’ (for names starting with L) and then select ‘Lead’ from the sub-menu displayed

Is there any way you can help? Of course! Any control or mitigation of the problem starts only when individual users of electronic goods (that means you and me!) stand united the world over and firmly say NO to unsafe e-waste disposal.

And finally comes the question ‘how’? One major point to note and take advantage of is that the lion’s share of e-waste is comprised by obsolete Personal Computers (PCs)/Laptops/Notebooks and accessories. Major computer manufacturers like IBM, HP,Dell,View Sonic, Sony, Panasonic,Gateway & Acer, already aware of the dangers of e-waste, are offering to ‘take-back’ their used computers (either free or at a small fee) so that you can return end-of-life computers/peripherals back to them for safe disposal. Your worries about e-waste disposal, therefore, end when you return obsolete computers to the manufacturer you bought them from! Period.

So, step 1 is: DO NOT BUY from a manufacturer that does not offer to take-back your PC or cellphone when it turns obsolete! A noted, environmentally responsible organization that performs watchdog services in the area of electronic trash control is the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition(SVTC). SVTC maintains a ‘computer manufacturer score-card’ (view the score card now) that ranks computer manufacturers on observed responsibility to environment related issues. It is highly recommended that you buy in future from a manufacturer on this list AND/OR

Step 2: Make sure the PC (or electronic product) you buy is ‘EPEAT’ ( Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool of the US Environmental Protection Agency) registered or evidence exists of adherence to the IEEE 1680 environmental performance standard set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., USA ( IEEE )

Step 3: Pass the word along among friends/colleagues/family members.

Step 4: Look for terms like e-waste and RoHS (RoHS, which stands for ‘Restriction on the use of Hazardous Substances’ is the equivalent of e-waste control measures set up in European Union (EU) countries) in the news and keep upto-date with developments on this front.

Step 5: Be aware that governments of developed countries (including the USA), well aware of the consequences, are indifferent to the existing backdoor practice of gifting/selling obsolete PCs to poorer nations(also read footnote 1). The e-waste problem is thus conveniently passed on to poorer nations while the exporting countries go scot free (they save on costs of proper disposal as well as face lesser criticism at home about responsibility issues as the underlying cause itself gets ‘exported’ and the barest few issues that might crop up remain). This is unjust! Confront your government with the truth. Make them call off their bluff! Make them sit up and take action!!

Were already late, so don’t delay, start on your action right from today…!!!

(1) In this connection, it’s worth noting that the 1992 United Nations Basel Convention, that governs global cross-border movements of hazardous wastes, places strict regulations on the trade/export/import of e-waste between countries. While many nations in the world are signatories to this legally binding international treaty, the USA, by being a signatory (but un-ratified to date) is a prominent exception.

Add to this the fact that the US is the biggest producer and exporter of e-waste in the world and you’ll have to admit that the USA alone, nearly 18 years after 1992, can continue with delays and postponements even in the matter of a crucial, global issue like e-waste possibly because, when it comes to the USA, even in our times, ‘might is still right‘ or ‘while all nations are equal, some are more equal than the others‘.

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Complying With Hazardous Waste Guidance Regulations

Hazardous waste guidance is provided by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Environment Agency. The Health and Safety Executive also provides guidance on how to store substances that are hazardous in nature. Until 2005 hazardous waste was known in England and Wales as special waste.

In order to fully comply with industrial waste regulations it is necessary to register with the Environment Agency if you produce in excess of 500 kilograms or 1,100 pounds, or 500 litres or 110 gallons of hazardous waste in a single year. Should a company produce less that this amount, it doesn’t mean that their waste is any less dangerous and all the other guidance rules should be strictly adhered to.

Registering with the Environment Agency is easy. It can be done over the telephone as well as by email or submitting the appropriate paper form. The charge for registering depends on the type of registration chosen. Electronic means works out the cheapest and using a paper form is the more expensive.

The European Hazardous Waste Directive (91/689/EEC) of 12th December 1991 sets out a framework of guidance that covers the managing, collecting and proper disposal of waste that is dangerous. The directive lists the various types of hazardous waste and categorises them according to a set criteria. This helps to ensure that different categories of waste are not mixed together, or that non hazardous product is not mixed with hazardous waste.

If it becomes necessary to transport or move a product then a consignment note must first be obtained. This is a way of tracking the whereabouts of such waste and it helps to ensure the safe and responsible management of materials that may be dangerous to life or the environment in general.

Regulations demand that any waste moved or transported is carried out by a registered waste carrier. The waste must also be accompanied by an appropriate consignment note, and the destination of the waste must be to a facility that holds a suitable permit for receiving and dealing with hazardous waste.

In addition, the place where the waste is moved from (if it produces more than 500 kilograms of waste in any year), must also be registered with the Environment Agency prior to the waste being moved if you plan on moving the waste yourself. A premises code unique to your location will be issued by the agency on application.

Hazardous waste is defined as being waste that holds the possibility of being harmful or dangerous to people or to the environment in some way. This type of waste can take many forms. It may be asbestos waste or spilt oil, old lead acid batteries or pesticides. There is no single definition; guidance on the management, recovery and disposal of such waste can also differ depending on what exactly the waste consists of.

Hazardous waste management is largely common sense. If a material or liquid is likely to be harmful to anyone who comes into contact with it, or if it is likely to be harmful to the environment, then it is probably hazardous waste and it will need to be treated in accordance with the regulations governing such waste.

C. J. Rose writes on the subject of waste management for industry and onshore/offshore environmental safety for Sureclean Limited, a global leader in industrial process waste management. Topics include HP & UHP water jetting (hydroblasting), tank/vessel cleaning, vacuum transfer/pumping, industrial painting, asbestos management/removal, HVAC/duct management, NORM management.

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E-Waste Management

Over the years, computers have widely enhanced different walks of human life. However, with the rapid and dramatic changes in life, mismanagement of electronic garbage has created devastating issues. Generally, computer equipments contain a comprehensive range of hazardous elements and substances such as cathode ray tubes with barium and lead oxide, toxic metals, biologically active materials, poly vinyl chloride, plastic additives, chlorinated brominated substances, heavy metals such as lead & cadmium in circuit boards, mercury in plane screens, and copper cables. According to Basel Action Network, 500 million computers across the world contain 716.7 million kgs of lead, 2.87 billion kgs of plastics, and 286,700 kgs of mercury and if they are burnt, they will release poisonous emissions in the surrounding air and create various health issues.

Gaskets and glass panels in computer monitors can cause the damage to kidneys, peripheral nervous systems, blood systems and delay the brain’s development in infants.

Semiconductors and Chip resistors contains Cadmium that accumulate in various organs then may cause neural damages.

Motherboards contain Beryllium that is carcinogenic and may cause chronic beryllium disease and other skin diseases.

Circuit board and electronic equipment contain Brominated flame retardants that may adversely damage endocrine system functions.

CRTs contains Barium that may cause damage to the heart, liver and spleen and muscle weakness.

Relays printed circuit boards and switches contain Mercury that negatively damage to the brain, skin and respiratory disorder

Steel plates contain Hexavalent chromium that can cause Asthmatic bronchitis and damage to DNA.

Management of Electronic Rubbish
More than 70% electronic waste either goes to the landfill or is disposed of in the water from where it enters into human body and causes severe damages. Proper waste management will not only minimize the danger of health consequences but also lead to the betterment of the global environment.

Inventory management
While manufacturing products, it is very important to improve the quality as well as the quantity of the materials. Manufacturers can reduce the adverse effects by minimizing the use of dangerous substances or using substitutions of non-hazardous materials. On the other hand, users can contribute by purchasing the products they require for specific periods and upgrading. Moreover, the approval process in evaluating the quantity of hazardous elements before going to market should be strictly followed.

The improvement of the production process

Enhancement in the production and maintenance process is necessary and it will significantly reduce the electronic waste. Either all the dangerous substances that are used in the production can be replaced or quantity can be minimized. Moreover, it is quite important to evoke some strict production and maintenance regulations and companies should be instructed to abide by them. For example, circuit board can be substituted with solvent-based product with water-based flux and can be used with solvent vapor degreaser with detergent parts washer. Chemicals such as caustics, cyanides and acids should be maintained properly and drained only after it is properly recycled.
The users should be aware about the penalty of extensive applications of toxic elements in computer. They must realize how their initiative will bring revolutionary changes in waste production and save environment.

Volume of product reduction

The volume of the products can be reduced by minimizing or replacing the hazardous portion of waste stream. Manufacturers are expected to make sure that users are given complete education on recycling and reusing the units they buy. Moreover, manufacturer can also use compaction components in place of electronic equipments to minimize the use of cathode ray-tube.

Recycling:
Recycling significantly reduces electronic wastes. Users should not throw computer and other electronic gazettes thoughtlessly; instead, they can go for recycling or donate to schools and other charitable organizations. Manufacturers of printed-circuit board can retrieve all-possible substances from tin-lead path and copper and recycle for reuse.

Develop the Sustainable product
Manufacturers should keep safe factors in mind. For example, they should use renewable, less hazardous materials, bioplastic instead of plastics made of petro chemicals and bio-based glue, inks and toners. They can also use renewable sources that are safe. As a responsible citizen, users can use computers for longer period’s time by upgrading processors, memory and hard drives.

One can call Asset-Recovery Services for business technology and computer equipment recycling needs.

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How to Create a Virtual Learning Environment With Twitter

Twitter came to the attention of the wider world with the recent New York plane crash/rescue where a participant took a photograph on his camera phone. Through Twitter, it was flashed around the phone before the “traditional” news agencies were on the scene.

Barack Obama also used twitter to update followers on his presidential campaign. Barack Obama is the most “followed” person in the world. (Or twittersphere)

So what is twitter?

Twitter is an online microblogging service.

What?

OK, in real language, its a cross between a blog a text message and a conversation that the rest of the world can hear. Viewed & posted on a web browser on a standard computer. Anyone can register and it is free. “Twitterers” can post short messages (up to 140 characters in length) which can be read by their “followers” (people who chose to receive updates from this person or organisation). Think for a second of the power of this – and bear in mind that a message can contain a link to a webpage, a photograph, video clip etc etc. It’s like being able to send a message to the world…

So why should I create a learning environment in twitter? Well, one of the advantages of online training is that both participants don’t have to be present at the same time for an event to take place. That’s the same in twitter. Sending an email has reliability problems, people use different computers, spam filters remove genuine message – in short, don’t rely on email…

With twitter though, everything is displayed on a webpage and (subject to user remembering user name & password) can be displayed anywhere in the world. So, a teacher or trainer can send a booklist or reading list to students the week before an event via twitter  & students can communicate & collaborate in real time or over time zones. How do I do this?, I don’t want the whole world hearing my conversation. When you go into twitter to set up your account, you can specify that your updates are protected (made private)

This is how to do it

When you register at twitter.com – go to the top right hand corner of the account screen & tick the “settings” option. Then, tick the “protect my updates” option This means that your updates, (posts) will not be published in the “public timeline” – messages that are entered by twitterers all over the world. That’s it, of course it’s not 100% secure, so don’t post what you really think of that new teacher (but you wouldn’t do that anyway would you?)

This short article was brought to you by Sharp End Training. A Sheffield based online training & assessment company. We can be contacted via http://www.sharp-end-training.co.uk

The author, Jonathan Senior is a Chartered Manager and member of the Chartered Institute. He has extensive experience of training & management in all types of business.

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