The Scoop on Weeds

The problem with weeds

Whilst some ecologists may argue the details, we can think of weeds as invasive species that pose serious threats to both the natural environment and primary production industries. Whether in Australia or elsewhere in the world, weeds are widely recognized as having major economic, environmental and social impacts. They cause damage to wild landscapes, agricultural lands, waterways and coastal areas. Terrestrial weeds are a problem to the land (and those who rely on it, human and non-human alike), while aquatic weeds can pose major challenges to the health of water systems – from mangroves to mountain streams. According to the… read more

Green Efforts: Intro

Green cities and communities

In the next few articles, I will attempt to address the efforts being made by various cities, towns, and maybe even villages, in the quest to ‘go green’. With these articles I hope to show what is currently being done worldwide to create a positive impact on the environment as well as discuss areas that need improvement in the green spectrum. Not all of these cities would make the top ten “Green Cities List”, nor can all of their Eco-friendly actions be considered intentional. Instead, these cities display varied levels of environmental awareness, and will contrast in size and location. By showing a wider… read more

After The Storm

After The Storm

Summer is a bitter sweet season in much of Southern Africa in that it brings with it much needed summer rains and a variety of fruits, but it also brings with it erratic weather patterns. Storms are a common occurrence here, and they usually result in such serious harm to property that many locations are declared disaster areas. Natural phenomena such as storms and resultant floods can result in environmental damage. Such damage emanates from ignorance as to how to manage a natural disaster. Some of these disasters occur in remote areas where assistance from the government may take days… read more

Recycling’s Dark Side

Recycling’s Dark Side

Bangladesh houses one of the world’s largest ship dismantling yards. Located in Chittagong, this vast area along the coast holds enormous vessels no longer in service that are waiting to be taken apart and recycled. Some of the largest maritime vessels retire here, awaiting their exhaustive tear down and reprocessing phase. When seeing the sheer scale of some of these floating giants, it would be unimaginable if they were not reclaimed. The metal and every part possible from the ships are recycled and sold in markets and to companies. There are reportedly thousands of laborers that work at this particular shipyard which… read more

Deadly Trinkets

Loggerhead_sea_turtle

In the days when buffalo still roamed the plains freely, they were viewed as sacred by the Native Americans. Though they hunted the buffalo, they thanked them for providing them with clothing and nourishment, and a sense of respect prevailed over their harvests. While there is no need for such harvests in developed countries, especially with the constant threat posed to a majority of animal species, hunting still takes place on a large scale. With animals often hunted not for the survival of human predators, but to be used as trophies and a means of commercial trade. Many times these… read more

The Need for Urban Farms

New_crops-Chicago_urban_farm

Currently, half the world’s population lives in cities and by 2030 the number of urban dwellers is expected to reach 70 percent of the entire population. Because of the constant population growth, in total cities will swell up to well over 9 billion. Meanwhile there is an ever persistent need to feed this growing population. This can pose problems in dense areas of limited space. As we come closer to realizing this reality, urban farming becomes more than experiment in sustainability and will soon be a necessity if we wish to have a balanced flow of the consumption and production… read more

Slow Food Movement

Farming local produce

By the second half of the 20th century the world was already moving at a fast pace, with a majority of people living fast, driving fast, and eating fast. Then, as now, you couldn’t turn onto any major highway without a billboard, sign or restaurant promising cheap, fast food uprooted alongside every exit. But these fast-food chains did more than frequent busy stretches of traffic, as soon they were beginning to invade sacred sections of the built-environment. During the 1980s in Italy, the fast food industry went so far as to propose the construction of a new McDonald’s next to… read more

Abandoned Property

Abandoned properties

Owners of immovable property in suburban areas have a legal duty to ensure that such properties are in good stead and comply with municipal by laws relating, inter alia, their upkeep and maintenance. There are owners of immovable property who have failed to maintain their property. Abandoning properties in suburban areas is usually unintentional in that when the owners acquire such property, they do so with the intention of either improving an existing structure or erecting a new structure on it. What then happens is that for one of a variety reasons, the owner decides to postpone any developments indefinitely…. read more

No More Cheap and Nasty

Cheap and nasty

Having recently survived the festive season, I witnessed with growing alarm (perhaps moreso than other years) the inordinate amount of cheap plastic rubbish that people purchase to celebrate the holidays. And I’m not talking about the cheap plastic utilitarian rubbish that lasts a few days or weeks or months then promptly loses whatever mojo it may have had only to end up broken, lost or otherwise beaten into the submission of landfill. No, I’m talking about the cheap plastic do-nothing junk known as “novelties”. From plastic “wobbly-dogs” that do nothing other than bob their heads when you nudge them, to… read more

Small Victories

Oil and natural gas drilling

The first week into January, Colorado became the first state to require energy companies to do groundwater sampling both before and after they drill for oil and/or natural gas. Colorado oil and natural gas regulators made the decision to approve the measure. The sampling is meant to show whether supplies of drinking water have been affected by energy development, and unless the methods to extract oil and natural gas undergo a drastic change, it can be assumed the post-drill testing will show the true impact of oil and gas extraction. Further, the new sampling regulations don’t appear to have pleased… read more