World Food Day Salutes The Family Farm

World Food Day Salutes The Family Farm

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) assesses that 842 million people across the globe suffer from hunger, which is 12% of the world’s population. More than 70% of those who do not have regular access to healthy foods reside in rural parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and Latin America. In the U.S. alone, 1 out of 6 people does not have enough food to eat. 2 billion people are deficient in vital micronutrients. Women account for 60% of those who suffer from devastating hunger. It is estimated that worldwide 26% of children do not develop… read more

A Twisted Prize No One Wants To Win

A Twisted Prize No One Wants To Win

Ever heard the phrase “learn from your mistakes”? Well one unique competition is on the table that architects, designers and engineers don’t want to win, as mistakes are what make the un-coveted award attainable. The Dead Prize, which stands for the Detrimental Engineering Architecture and Design Prize, is not quite the acknowledgment that is wanted by those in their respective fields. The provocative competition seeks to uncover the ways in which engineering, architectural and design processes can affect the environment, and will uncover those voted as the top adverse offenders. With an early interest in architecture and a longstanding career… read more

The Earthworm Advantage

The Earthworm Advantage

Forget high-tech machinery and farm implements. Earthworms themselves are the equivalent of countless inventories of agricultural equipment, compliments of Mother Nature. Vermiculture, or worm cultivation, uses sustainable farming techniques and efficient ways of turning waste into benefit, naturally. Worms eat up what we might consider waste, consuming much of what we just scrape off our dinner plates. They aerate the soil and compost waste organically, helping the soil afterwards. This effect is circular of course, since better soil equals healthier plants which lends to more nutritious meals, and so on. This do it yourself video shows simple steps for creating an… read more

Algae Threatens Manatees

Manatees_swimming

Despite being lovingly referred to as the “sea cow”, manatees are aquatic relatives of elephants. Like them, manatees are herbivores, subsisting primarily on marine and freshwater plants. One of the ways in which they contribute to the balance of their ecosystem is by cutting and spreading the seeds of sea-grasses to promote optimal growth, much like birds and squirrels cultivate plants through seed distribution on land. Along with vast portions of sea-grass, manatees eat seaweeds. Specifically,  algae – and lots of it. This is fine when ingesting the green, stringy algae commonly found on the surface of pond water. However,… read more

What Makes Food Sustainable?

sustainable-food

What makes food sustainable? There are many different definitions of sustainable food. Sustain, a UK charity devoted to promoting sustainable food, emphasizes protection of biodiversity, environmental friendliness, health, and social and economic benefits. According to the University of Queensland, Australia, there are a number of things that impact the sustainability of food, including farming practices (i.e., use of pesticides and other chemicals, harvesting approaches), transport, processing, and business practices (i.e., Fair Trade). Sustain has clear recommendations for sustainable eating and drinking, and these are listed below: – Purchasing local, seasonal foods – Buying food produced by environmentally friendly farms – Keeping… read more

Paper Waste and What We Can Do About It

Paper waste

With the influx of heightened technology, long gone are the days where you have to constantly tote around a pen and pencil to jot down important details. Almost everything you could possibly need to write down can be done on a device, whether on your phone or mobile invention of choice. From calendars to reminder notes, you can just enter information to look at later. Not to mention the availability of online books, magazine subscriptions and virtual offices, most things that were once on paper are now additionally, or exclusively, online. Despite these technological conveniences, paper still remains a mass… read more

Alarming Facts About Water

water-facts

Whether it’s the hour-long showers folks in the U.S. take, or the bath-in-the-swamp many people are forced to endure in underdeveloped nations, water is an important commodity, never to be taken for granted. Here are some interesting facts and information about water and how it affects people around the globe. The Good Water is the main constituent in the human body, and forms 50-60% of body weight and approximately 75% of body volume. Water contains zero fat, proteins, carbs, or calories. The average person uses 465 litres of water per day. However, with education and practice, those numbers can be severely… read more

Recycled Phones And The Rainforest Connection

Recycled Phones And The Rainforest Connection

A nonprofit called Rainforest Connection has proposed a unique use for recycled smartphones. Just funded on Kickstarter, their campaign seeks to use old phones and turn them into live listening devices for rainforest areas. They take the secondhand phones and turn them into devices that can be used to detect the unlawful poaching activity and logging that occurs in the rainforest. Illegal deforestation and poaching is an issue that contributes to many other problems. Unlawful logging is responsible for reducing rainforest habitats and further endangering some species. The damages extend beyond the rainforest also. As much as 10% of greenhouse… read more

Preventing Desertification

Image of desertification

Desertification is the process in which fertile land slowly turns into sand-filled deserts. It’s happening all around the world, and increasingly so in the United States. It’s a direct result of poor environmental decisions, livestock grazing, and landowner neglect. The good news is that it’s also reversible and preventable. Allan Savory, a research biologist and President/Co-Founder of the Savory Institute, recently gave an inspirational TED talk about healing our land. His background on the subject is impressive, and should give us pause to heed his words. In the 1960’s while working in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), he came to understand what… read more

Planting Hope

Planting Hope

For residents in Bil’in, Palestine, planting flowers means more than just gardening lately. As a statement for peace, many residents in the area have planted flowers inside of used tear gas grenades left behind from wars between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. Vast flower gardens have been planted in the last year as a memorial for protestor Bassem Abu Rahmeh and the many others who have died. The gardens are near the state’s capital, stretching across a 430 mile wall that was regained by Palestinians in the war. Unfortunately, the supply of containers seems never-ending. Luckily, neither is the ability to try and triumph… read more