One Step At A Time

Finding Our Feet

Certain words and phrases have become catch-cries for the green movement. “Action for sustainability”, “social change”, “environmental advocacy” – all are examples of language that needs to find solid ground in a world of proliferated rhetoric. As environmental communicators and sustainability educators, how can “walk the talk”? How can we do good work that moves beyond lip-service? How can we target measureable action for sustainability, meaningful social change and environmental advocacy with political and economic efficacy? The short answer is there is no short answer. What there are, however, are a series of questions we can ask ourselves as we… read more

Plant a Tree on Arbor Day

arbor_day

The recognition of Arbor Day began in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton. The intent of this day was to create awareness of the importance of planting trees. 100 years later, the Arbor Day Foundation was started. This not for profit organization has a focus on conservation, environmental education and the significant role that tree planting plays in both. Trees help to reduce carbon dioxide and promote oxygen in the air. By increasing tree growth where it can be helpful instead of continually cutting down these natural resources, a positive ecological boost is created. The foundation encourages tree planting and inspires… read more

Endorsing Green Products

Endorsing products to be green

Consumer protection law, simply explained, is a field charged with the responsibility of protecting the general public from any form of undue exploitation by retailers and service providers. With the dawn of “going green” trends globally, the consumer is being lobbied and bombarded with campaigns to migrate to green living. These rigorous campaigns have opened opportunity for false and misleading advertising. Many consumers are heeding the call to go green. Consequently, many people concern themselves with the environmental effects of the products they purchase for domestic use. This in turn has prompted many manufacturers to endorse their products with environmental… read more

LaChapelle’s Littered Landscapes

LaChapelle’s Littered Landscapes

Creating in your face art with unconventional messages, David LaChapelle is a name widely known in the fashion and photography industries. He has captured the glimpses on camera of numerous well-known celebrities, in ways that are never dull and are always intriguing, to say the least. The past decade the talented eyes behind the camera have been concentrating on more artistic feats and less commercial works. He has developed a series of images made from commonplace but unusually displayed items. Titled Land Scape, everyday objects work together to form models of unbelievably detailed constructions. Things like cardboard, cans, cups, straws,… read more

Climate Change Is Not A Hoax

Climate Change

Before any of this gets started, there must first be made a clarification and acceptance of terms and contexts, otherwise this will tear apart at its seams. First, it must be accepted that United States and United Kingdom media outlets are legitimate, fair, and accurate in their reporting. Second, it must be accepted that climate change deniers and skeptics deserve an equal part of the debate and attention, solely based on their ability to form an idea in their heads, and not on any merit or evidence. Now that’s out of the way, let us continue: It is reprehensible for… read more

Town Planning and Transport Efficiency

Public Transport benefits

In many developed countries public transport is so efficient that many people use it to get to and from work. Besides the economic benefits of using public transport, this choice of daily travel could potentially reduce carbon emissions. In Swaziland the use of public transport to travel to work has not taken root due to the inefficiency of our public transport system. Town planning and transport efficiency in our cities is increasingly becoming important. The way in which our towns are developed will now have to take into account the environmental implications of travel within the city, and also to… read more

The Leadership Challenge

volunteering in leadership

Time and again, people assert that strong national leadership is what we need to move toward a sustainable future. It could certainly be argued that our political leaders are yet to “step up” to the responsibilities of effectively navigating a healthy and prosperous future for people and planet alike. But what about personal leadership? What about the leadership required within our communities, our neighbourhoods, our homes? What about the leadership required of each and every one of us? From a social change perspective, “leadership” isn’t necessarily the job of a single person within a group. Within environmental or community groups,… read more

Sustainable Packaging Designs

Newton-Sneakers-Suistainable-Packaging

Packaging and waste can go hand in hand in the realm of consumerism. A 10 year span that was examined in Europe did see a positive drop in packaging waste, by 43% throughout 27 states due to better recycling techniques, according to the European Organization for Packaging and the Environment. The Environmental Protection Agency stated that the U.S. produced at least 243 million tons of waste in 2009 alone, however over 80 million tons were kept out of landfills due to recycling and composting (Mother Nature Network). Recycling efforts are positive approaches. However, the question of availability for smarter packaging… read more

Halting The Sands

Desertification, Africa

If you were to visit rural southern Africa you would likely experience the beauty of a primordial country life. The cows would be grazing, farmers would be in the fields, their irrigation sprinklers would be at work, and maidens would be collecting firewood from the nearby forest. At face value there is nothing wrong with the picture, however if you would multiply the activity described, and look forward by 10 years or so, the picture would change to a cover on a document entitled “The Leading Cause of Desertification”. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification focuses particularly on those African countries… read more

Feed the Birds

Making bird feeders

Studies have long shown that an early love of nature fosters ecological awareness that carries over into adulthood. One particular examination looked at 9 to 12 year old children’s involvement in outside activities for a span of six years. It was found that outside playtime had decreased by as much as 50% during this period. Getting kids to appreciate the outdoors can be as easy as providing the occasion. Birds and other outside animals offer an opportunity for inspiring projects that children will love. By constructing bird-friendly enticers, like feeders and treat holders, kids foster a connection to the inhabitants… read more