What’s Next For Sochi?

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The Olympics are finally over. Maybe your countries athletes performed admirably, or perhaps they didn’t quite live up to expectations. Whatever the case, Russia now has some major cleaning up to do. You may have heard about their trashing of villages near the construction of the Olympic Stadium. Nobody really reacted to this news like they did upon hearing how China was displacing homeless people in anticipation of the 2008 Summer Olympics. This should concern you. While “politics as usual” is nothing new, especially when it comes to environmental politics, this is a clear cut example of letting things slip… read more

It’s A Career For Our Future

Environmental Communication

Having recently been asked what I do as an “environmental communicator”, I thought I’d pen a few words to help clarify the role for people who might be interested in this fascinating field. Basically, an environmental communicator puts excellent writing and speaking skills to use in the development and delivery of organisational or public-facing communication strategies. There is always a clear objective in our work, for example, we may be asked to develop a complex media campaign or simple communication tool that aims to garner community support to protect local waterways, lush rainforests or threatened ecosystems. We might be asked… read more

The Plastic Peril Island

The Plastic Peril Island

Imagine an island, floating in the aqua blue waters of the North Pacific Ocean. And when you conjure up the image of that island, it probably isn’t a mobile one constructed of plastic and debris. Yes, this floating plastic island is called The Trash Vortex and it is a reality. Explored by Greenpeace, you may have heard that it is swirling around in the North Pacific gyre right now, which is only one of 5 chief gyres or pools of ocean currents. And the trash problem undoubtedly has crept into the other circulating areas as well. This one receives so… read more

Apple Meets With Tesla; Proposes New Ventures

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Over the span of the past 18 or so months, Apple has been meeting with Tesla, and reportedly considered purchasing the electric car company. Tesla, a pioneer in the automotive industry, won Motor Trend’s Car of The Year award in 2013, bringing them to the forefront of eco technology. Apple, listed as the 4th greenest company by the EPA, appears to be looking at expanding their foray into the ecological market. Among the news of the important meeting between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Apple is reportedly looking into the development of technology that could predict heart… read more

Seeds Of Wonder

Seeds Of Wonder

You don’t have to be an avid gardener to appreciate the sophisticated splendor of something as seemingly modest as a seed. The Seed Site provides a realm of information about the life of seeds. A compilation of botanical information, including instructional resources for harvesting, storage, germination and planting are covered. Identification descriptors and many other helpful materials are also offered. Helpful links answer advanced questions as well as the basics, like is it an annual or perennial? Educational tools for scientific and teacher resources are available like themed project supplies for making diagrams, templates, seed packets and identification cards. There is also… read more

How Graphene Will Change Everything

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Happy Valentines Day! If you’ve got nothing to do this evening, why not learn about graphene? You’ve probably heard quite a bit about graphene in the past year or so, and you’ll certainly be hearing more about it in the coming decade. Graphene has the potential to completely revolutionize the world of energy, batteries, solar power, automobiles, and more. It’s a magical element with mindblowing capabilities, and we’ve only scratched the surface on what graphene can actually do for us. We can use it to charge our cellphones in mere seconds, or put it to use creating an efficient solar… read more

This Houseplant Can Emit Its Own Light

This Houseplant Can Emit Its Own Light

No batteries required. This glowing houseplant gets its luminescence from science. Dr. Alex Krichevsky, a molecular biologist, created a new type of glowing greenery called autoluminescent plants. Uncovering the process that makes this possible, his application is being said to be the first that can create plants capable of generating their own light. Scientists have been looking into light applications for a while; however this plant system is able to produce its own light using a bioluminescent process that does not rely on another source. The plants get their glow by a genetic modification process that alters the structure of the plant… read more

Building An Olympic Dream At An Environmental Cost

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Five years ago when Sochi was selected to serve as the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics, there were concerns of environmental damage that might happen during construction of the main stadium. Today, it appears that those concerns were well founded, and completely avoidable as well. Considering Russia’s lax stance on eco conservation though, one is not to be surprised to discover damage being done to nearby ecosystems. A report by The Guardian a few months ago documented some of the side effects of building an Olympic Dream — a dust-covered village, harmful chemicals being released, fields of debris, and… read more

Nature Isn’t What It Used To Be

Nature's changed

Human relationships with nature are vastly different now to what they were even a generation ago. We have moved from a utilitarian relationship to romantic attachment to the new world of electronic detachment. Today, many people live in a world that is technologically advanced yet environmentally severed. Where once people spent more than half their life outdoors, today so many of us are glued – from breakfast to bedtime – to an increasing myriad of screens. Today, nature is mediated, modified, and managed out of people’s lives. For example, publicly and privately many people no longer acknowledge (or in some… read more

The Fish Oil Craze Is Wiping Out Whale Sharks

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If you have fish oil in your home, or use expensive cosmetics, then congratulations — you’re the cause of mass whale shark genocide. OK, so the consumers aren’t at fault here, but it’s clear that the fish oil trend is partially responsible for the looming extinction of the world’s rarest shark. One factory alone in China kills upwards of 600 per year, and pays $31,000 for each shark. Though the oil is taken from the livers of whale, blue, and basking sharks, it is the whale shark whose existence is threatened by this fad. In China, these three species of… read more