first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterHealth and Fitness Travel share five of the best cultural wellness adventures for Valentine’s escapes. Combining cultural tour discovery with wellness retreat recovery, these healthy escapes offer everything from city tours and cooking classes, to zip-lining and volcano hikes.Costa RicaEscape for a Valentine’s Day to remember by exploring tropical rainforests and  coastlines of Costa Rica, from guided tours of the city of San Jose and a visit to an authentic coffee plantation, to white water rafting and zip-lining through a volcanic national park. Before heading home, recover at a beach side wellness retreat with surfing lessons and yoga classes in an open-air yoga pavilion.ItalyDelve into a cultural wellness Valentine’s escape in a country famous for cities steeped in history, architecture and cuisine. Experience Rome as a local and discover authentic flavours with a culinary tour of local eateries; explore with a bike tour the streets of Rome or Florence; and sample the finest in Italian gelato before discovering the beauty of the Chianti region during a wine tasting tour. Recover at a choice of wellness retreats, from spa breaks in Lombardy, to golf escapes in Tuscany.BaliOne of the most popular destinations in the Indonesian archipelago, escape on a Valentine’s adventure to the island of Bali. From jungle and rice paddy treks, to volcano hikes and guided village cycling tours, there is no end to the exciting ways to keep active and explore the island as a couple. Visit sacred temples, experience Bali’s monkey forest and recover in one of five wellness retreats, with therapeutic spa treatments and revitalising wellness activities, including yoga, Pilates and meditation.TurkeyCrossing two continents, where East meets West, Turkey offers a unique fusion of cultural influences for a Valentine’s escape. Discover Istanbul’s stunning Ottoman Empire architecture and stroll through the bustling Grand Bazaar, or head further afield to explore the breath-taking waterfalls of Antalya and the ancient ruins of Hierapolis. Recover at a choice of luxury wellness retreats, with reviving spa treatments and wellness activities, from beach jogging to personalised yoga.MoroccoDiscover the diverse culture of this country before unwinding on a romantic healthy holiday beneath the Moroccan sun.  Marvel at snake charmers on a guided tour of Marrakech, explore the Atlas Mountains on a mountain bike tour, or learn traditional cooking methods on a cookery course.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country New solar technology could produce clean drinking water for millions in need By Robert F. ServiceJun. 28, 2019 , 2:55 PM But the output is low because the sun’s rays must heat the entire volume of water before evaporation begins. Commercially available versions produce about 0.3 liters of water per hour per square meter (L/h/m2) of the covered water’s surface area. The average person requires about 3 liters of water a day for drinking. Providing enough drinking water for a small family requires a still around 5 square meters in size. Operating at their theoretical best, such devices can only produce 1.6 L/h/m2.Guihua Yu, a materials scientist at the University of Texas in Austin, and colleagues recently reported a way around this limit. It involves hydrogels, polymer mixtures that form a 3D porous, water—absorbent network. Yu and colleagues fashioned a gellike sponge of two polymers—one a water-binding polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), the other a light absorber called polypyrrole (PPy)—which they then placed atop the water’s surface in a solar still.Inside the gel, a layer of water molecules bonded tightly to the PVA, each forming multiple chemical links known as hydrogen bonds. But with so much of their bonding ability tied up with the PVA, the bound water molecules bind only loosely to other nearby water molecules, creating what Yu calls “intermediate water.” Because intermediate water molecules share fewer bonds with their neighbors, they evaporate more readily than regular water. And when they do, they’re immediately replaced by other water molecules in the still. Using this technology, Yu’s solar still produced 3.2 L/h/m2 of water, double the theoretical limit, his team reported last year in Nature Nanotechnology.Now, Yu and his colleagues have created an even better hydrogel. They mixed in a third polymer, called chitosan, which also strongly attracts water. Adding chitosan to the mix created a gel that could hold more water—and increased the amount of intermediate water as a result. A still using the new hydrogel distilled water at a rate of 3.6 L/h/m2, the highest rate ever reported and about 12 times the amount produced by today’s commercially available versions, the researchers report today in Science Advances.“This is a fantastic starting point,” says Peng Wang, an environmental engineer at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia. Wang notes that at this higher water production rate, a solar still 1 square meter in size could produce about 30 liters of clean drinking water per day, enough for a small family. Even better, he says, all three polymers in the hydrogel are both commercially available and cheap. That means that if the stills using them are rugged enough, they could help provide clean water for those who need it most.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Tanklike devices called solar stills use the sun to evaporate dirty or salty water and condense the vapor into safe drinking water. But large, expensive stills can only produce enough water for a small family. Now, researchers have developed a new material that speeds the process of evaporation, enabling a small solar still to provide all the drinking water one family needs. If the technology proves cheap enough, it could provide millions of impoverished people access to clean drinking water.Today 783 million, or nearly one in 10, people around the world lack such access, according to UNICEF. These people spend a collective 200 million hours a day fetching water from distant sources. And even though technologies exist for purifying contaminated water and desalinating seawater, these typically require expensive infrastructure and lots of energy, putting them beyond the reach of many communities.Recently, researchers have been working to upgrade solar stills as a cheap, low-tech alternative. The traditional still is little more than a black-bottomed vessel filled with water and topped with clear glass or plastic. The black bottom absorbs sunlight, heating water so that it evaporates and leaves the contaminants behind. The water vapor then condenses on the clear covering and trickles into a collector. Xingyi Zhou and Youhong Guo/UT Austin A gel at the heart of this solar still produces a record amount of fresh water.last_img read more

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