TAG: Environment

Shock Tactics Required ?

Communication and climate change

Climate change activists were on a high five years ago. 2006 and 2007 might well go down in history as the golden-years of public support for action on climate change. According to various surveys at that time, environmental issues topped the list of many people’s concerns. Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth had hit screens world-wide. And equally widespread was agreement amongst scientists that climate change was real. But the climate change ‘high’ was short-lived. With the global financial crisis of 2008, popular interest in rising sea temperatures and extreme weather events promptly crashed and burned. People stopped worrying about melting ice-caps… read more

Romney v Environment

Romney V Environment

At his foundation, Mitt Romney does not think the hazards posed by climate change are anything to be concerned about, and instead is solely concerned with the individual and their family. During his speech last night at the Republican National Convention, Romney said: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans—and to heal the planet. MY promise is to help you and your family.” The audience broke into an agreeing laughter mid-comment, and applauded at the end. This comment breaks down in multiple ways, but there are two important fractures that epitomize Romney and his strategy of lies…. read more

Live Sustainably – A Choice

Living more sustainably

Sustainability is a term thrown around loosely in today’s media, but it is a real choice that every single person makes in their daily life. You can choose to be greener and live a more sustainable life by making the right choices that effect the environment and your wallet. Turn the lights off! Three 60 watt light bulbs left on 8 hours a day for a year can cost $90 and waste 525 kWh for the year! Minimizing “phantom loads” in your home or office is an easy way to be more energy conservative. These “phantom loads” are electronics in… read more

A Few Minutes A Week

Taking the time to be green

We know that recycling, repurposing and decreasing unneeded consumption in all aspects of daily life are no-brainers, and that using energy efficient products can help to save money. But do we really understand the impact such simple things really have when it comes to our financial and environmental wellbeing? The following are four easy changes that literally take less than a few minutes to do, but can really add up in long-term benefits: Unplugging unused appliances and electronics can seriously increase electricity savings. Even though they are not being used constantly when plugged in, they are still continually draining up… read more

The Biosphere Project

Biosphere 2 - University of Arizona

In Santa Catalina, Arizona, the largest eco-research system on Earth rests near the mountains just north of Tucson. It’s called ‘Biosphere 2’, and its goal is to educate the public on the importance of conserving Earth’s ecosystem through smarter living and researching climate change. Built in 1986 by Space Biospheres Ventures, and now owned and maintained by the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2 is roughly the size of two and a half football fields, and is elevated 4,000ft above sea level. The glass facility has several biomes, each one unique to different Earth terrains. There’s a 1,900m rainforest, an 850m… read more

Mining Responsibly

Mining in South Africa

South Africa is the biggest mining country in the world, a report compiled by Citigroup estimates that the country has over USD 2.5 trillion in precious metals reserves. To the corporate world this means potential to realize big profits, however to the many communities located in close proximity with mineral reserves this may spell the potential for catastrophic environmental disasters. The South African legislature recognized the need to address potential problems associated with mining, thus it passed the Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Act 28 of 2002 (MPRDA). This piece of legislation requires all persons who have applied for a… read more

Fire and the Environment

Fire usage and the environment

Fire is a necessary resource in the daily lives of many African communities. From time immemorial, it has been used for cooking, generating heat in the winter, generating light at night, harvesting honey from wild bees, and for religious/cultural rituals, amongst other things. When used appropriately, fire is a wonderful gift from mother-nature. Similarly, when abused and/or misused, fire can be a curse to the natural environment and human beings alike. The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that globally, 350 hectares of wild land are consumed by fire each year, and that 90% of the time such wildfires are a… read more

Vegetable Composting

Vegetable composting

Vegetable composting is a vital to reduce wasting at our landfills. It is just that simple. Why send it off to a landfill when it can be planted in the front yard for composting. When cooking, use an additional bowl to collect food waste such as vegetable and fruit tops, peels, and ends. Coffee grounds, tea leaves, and egg shells are likewise useful in composting.  It is best not to use meats or greasy food as it can attract animals and cause a bad odor. Simply blend your compost into the garden about 12 inches deep. One method is to… read more

Cheap Alternatives

Inexpensive local activities

Whether it’s the sluggish economy or an attempt to be more environmentally friendly, many of us are trying to be thriftier.  Cutting back on certain activities can be an adjustment but it is also an opportunity to try new things you’d otherwise overlook. Many communities have activities that are of little cost and provide cultural enrichment. Art museums are a great place to visit. But if you’d prefer to delve into the current art scene, try visiting local art galleries so you can see the artists in your community and the work they’re doing. This is especially neat as you… read more

A Green Economy

Renewable energy power

Given the slow recovery of the U.S. economy, every economic solution must be explored. Obviously, there are solutions that are more credible than others. The legitimacy of oil and nuclear energy has greatly diminished by the negative effects they have on the environment, people, and recent disasters. On the other hand, renewable energy has had its credibility strengthened by technological advancements and the fact that these energies are renewable. There are many obstacles renewable energy implementation faces, but the foundation of these obstacles is that a strong, robust renewable energy economy requires an energy revolution. Opponents of renewable energy are… read more