A Dry Mississippi?

Mighty Mississippi

It is common knowledge now the United States is experiencing the worst drought in half a century, causing the agricultural and transportation industries major headaches, aside from the negative impacts on the environment. Due to the drought, the water levels in the Mississippi River are close to historic lows, which could shut down all shipping in a matter of weeks. In a strange turn of events, the river has performed a complete 180° shift in the past 18 months—flooding in the spring of 2011 forced thousands to flee their homes, and now the river is dry. Without rain, the drought… read more

Want To Reduce Your Waste On Holiday?

Airbnb

Who doesn’t enjoy the hedonistic pleasures a hotel has to offer? Food on demand, white, clean robes. Self-indulgence to the highest degree. We check in, have a bath, order room service, watch a movie, and read the complimentary newspaper and magazines…..or not. The problem with hotels, is the grand scale of their waste. The enormous amount of electricity kept burning away in the hope we choose their facilities over the countless others. Some hotels bend to the pressure of an environmentally obsessed culture and leave signs that ask us to re-use our towels, but is this enough? Every time I stay… read more

Green Anxiety Therapy

Green Anxiety Therapy

Green spaces are places with natural features, such as trees, plants, flowers, and grass. Research suggests that they are critical not only to the sustainability of our environment and by extension, our physical health, but also to our mental health. Recent research has shown that the prevalence rates of anxiety disorders and depression are significantly lower in areas where 90% of the space is green than in 10% green areas. It’s not known for sure how green space exerts its anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects, though opportunities to engage in recreation, exercise out in the fresh air, socialize, and relax in… read more

Gasland: Can You Light Your Water On Fire?

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Documentary films are (usually) really neat and informative to watch. Depending on the subject, one can learn a considerable amount of info that they otherwise would have been oblivious to. For instance, one of my favorite documentary programs is Bloomberg Game Changers, which follows a series of inventors, businessmen, and individuals doing their part to change the world. More on the topic of the environment, though, is a film called ‘Gasland‘. Created by documentary filmmaker Josh Fox, the 2011 film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. The film takes the viewer into the communities and cities impacted… read more

Edible, Dissolveable or Biodegradable

Paperboard_packaging

There is no waste in nature, as at the end of every living thing’s life it serves as a source of nutrients once it returns from where it came. Thus, waste in a modern sense is a human creation – and modified materials like plastic, a mutation of nature. While many companies have introduced “green packaging”, and certainly the efforts have been impressive, it would be incorrect to herald them as sustainable. For a package to be sustainable, its existence must create zero waste. It also cannot rely on finite resources for its manufacture and use. This is because sustainability… read more

Who Should Take Credit For Looking After Our Ocean?

Ocean Conservation

Every now and then, Blacklemag likes to highlight the endeavors of specific organizations we feel are doing a great job of working to save the environment. Today, we’d like to take a look at the work Ocean Conservancy is doing to promote awareness and protect the oceans. The Ocean Conservancy group “educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean.” They have several lists of facts on their website showcasing the importance of our oceans to the overall health of the planet. The organization was founded in 1972, since then, they’ve contributed to the 144, 606, 491 pounds… read more

Camping Gets A Charge

Camping Gets A Charge

Camping excursions without proper gear can be problematic. However, some high tech wonders that will only be a camper’s dream for most have moved past the idea phase and onto the drawing board. Not yet reaching into the world of available merchandise, these concept products would step up camping convenience a notch. One item that would have the power to literally transform an outdoor stay is the Orange™ Solar Tent. This idea combines solar power and turns a normal tent into a charging station for mobile devices. The design is constructed of sturdy photovoltaic fabric to help capture and store… read more

Greener Trash Bags

Greener Trash Bags

We sometimes have to buy merchandise that we probably would rather not, due to the price or its environmental hazard factor. One item that usually fails in both categories is trash bags. This is one example of something most would rather not spend money on. In addition to negative environmental effects, they are normally expensive for an object that is just going to be thrown out. Some varieties also may be thin and inferior, so they have to be doubled up on which adds to the waste. Even though the evils of the made from plastic bag have been preached for some time,… read more

iPads For Airlines: Reducing Fuel Use

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Technology is a blessing. According to Moore’s Law, our capabilities will increase exponentially over the course of human evolution. We’re steadily replacing traditional methods and lifestyles with more modern ones, such as electric vehicles and e-readers. More recently, airlines have begun to experiment with the idea of replacing their massive flight manuals with iPads. Scoff all you want, but those thick, heavy books actually cost the airlines quite a bit of money in fuel costs, and weigh the plane down considerably more than a thin, lightweight iPad would. The general rule on airplanes is that electronics are bad, and non-electronics… read more

The Montreal Protocol Reduces Ozone Depletion

Cleaning up the ozone layer is one of the top priorities for countries around the globe, specifically the ones with the capability to take on such a massive task. Under an international treaty called ‘The Montreal Protocol’, governments across the globe will begin to phase out numerous substances responsible for the depletion of our ozone layer. Over the next few decades, this protocol will be enacted, and the process of cleaning up the atmosphere will begin. You can read the specifics of the protocol here, and you can check out the video below that explains how the process will work…. read more