Littering

Littering

The beauty of the natural environment can only be truly appreciated when human beings have a very limited impact on such environment. Well, at least in Swaziland this is the case. One of the most barbaric of ways that mankind destroys the aesthetic appeal of his environment is littering. Littering is a bad habit that is not about to be subside. It is not an uncommon sight to see a grown person eat a packet of chips only to discard the plastic packet on the ground. It is also just as rife to see people throw things such as bottles,… read more

More Than a Health Choice

Apple, Jennifer Copley

Although many people argue that organic foods are the best choice for health and environmental friendliness, for some, the most compelling reason to favor organic agriculture is the protection of human rights. Organic farming is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “A production system that is managed … to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” This definition encompasses not only environmental friendliness and sustainability, but also the cultural practices of a particular region. Organic food is better for public health… read more

Solar Job Census

Solar Energy

On November 14th, 2012, The Solar Foundation released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census report. This found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the overall economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent during the same period, signifying that 1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry. The report, produced by The Solar Foundation and in partnership with BW Research and Cornell University, was released… read more

Occupy Sandy

Occupy Sandy - helping America

Hurricane Sandy is partially the effects of greenhouse gases and mass pollution of the earth. To add to the bad news, the hurricane itself can cause mass damage such as rising sea levels, erosion, and waste from debris. It is important to have scientists working in these areas to help. Just as equally important are the cleanup efforts like ‘Occupy Sandy‘. Occupy Sandy is a coordinated relief effort to help distribute resources & volunteers to help neighborhoods and people affected by Hurricane Sandy. We are a coalition of people & organizations who are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs… read more

Hypertrophication Awareness

Polluted water in Africa

Community gardens are a proudly Swazi initiative wherein many communities around the country put concerted efforts into growing and maintaining vegetable gardens to feed orphaned children, the elderly and other people who are otherwise unable to provide for themselves. It is therefore important that the gardens continue to enjoy perpetual success, which success depends on sustainable and environmentally sound methods of farming. Since an overwhelmingly vast majority of the country is rural without running tap water, the community gardens are strategically positioned near water sources such as rivers and dams. Beneficial as it might be to have the water gardens… read more

U.S. Oil Independence

US oil independence

The U.S. will rid itself of the long-standing dependence on Saudi Arabian oil within the next decade by increasing domestic oil and gas production, but there is the inherent risk, and rising likelihood, of worsening global warming. In a report released on Monday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the United States will benefit from “unconventional” sources of oil and gas, including shale gas and oil, derived from blasting rocks apart to release the fossil fuels trapped within, i.e. fracking. Hydraulic fracturing has been linked to increases in seismic activity, but it has been difficult for geologists and seismologists to… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 4

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article See Part 3 of this article There’s a lot of talk about changing people’s behaviour.Talk about recycling and waste management. Talk about local economies and food production. Talk about public transport and greening community spaces. Talk, talk talk. For some reason, a great many social change programs have relied on information as the principle weapon for mass distraction – distraction from the everyday activities that otherwise keep people glued to existing and typically unsustainable behaviours.  The problem, however, is that information alone is not a particularly effective weapon…. read more

Tricks of the Trade – 3

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article See Part 2 of this article  Some people describe themselves as “commitment-phobic”. Others rush headlong toward commitment as if their life depended on it. What’s curious in human behaviour is – irrespective of how we feel about commitment in personal relationships – when an individual (even better a group) commits to a small request it almost always invariably leads to the likelihood of them agreeing to something bigger and better. Get someone to sign a petition and you’ve got their love for life. That’s the theory anyway. As McKenzie-Mohr & Smith outline in their… read more

Combating Greenwashing

Corporate dishonesty

In an era where corporations find themselves under immense pressure to conform to environmental expectations, dishonesty and manipulation are bound to appeal to unscrupulous manufacturers. Greenwashing is one deceptive practice that some corporations have resorted to. Greenwashing is a term used to describe corporate dishonesty where the corporation concerned attempts to conceal the negative impact their products have on the environment by making what can be described as misleading claims pertaining to the environmental benefits of the product or service it offers. Greenwashing is more a claim geared at deceiving than it is a marketing strategy. Thus for instance, a… read more

Tricks of the Trade – 2

Social change marketing

See Part 1 of this article “Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex than our subsequent explanations of them.” (Fyodor Dostoevsky) Ever wondered why people litter? Ever wondered why people buy pre-packaged microwave meals? Ever wondered why people buy oversized fuel-guzzling SUVs?  Chances are you’ve had a hunch or two as to why people do the weird things they do. When it comes to developing public programs for social change, however, gut feelings are not quite enough. This is not least because human beings are infinitely more complex than we often give… read more