TAG: Environment

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day

The observance of Earth Day began in the U.S. in 1970 as a way for individuals to gather in response to the growing interest in a national environmental movement. Escalating concerns for ecological awareness in both the personal and political arenas were amplified by many during this time. A bit of history from The Old Farmer’s Almanac recounted that proactive John McConnell from California and Gaylord Nelson, then Senator of Wisconsin, both opened the gates for exchange in their local areas. They initiated people to gather together in order to demonstrate their unity over environmental issues. The spring equinox on… read more

Cheesed Off

Climate V's Cheese

Can cheese be made sustainably? A recent Environmental Working Group and CleanMetrics study found that that cheese is among the top three worst protein sources in terms of negative environmental impacts (lamb was first, beef second). One of the biggest problems associated with food production is that farming, processing, packaging, and transporting food products generates greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to global warming. In the case of cheese, the majority of GHG emissions occur during milk production. Dairy farmers can reduce GHG emissions by making cheese from cow’s or goat’s milk rather than sheep’s milk (sheep produce more methane per… read more

Sustainable Cities Around the World

Toronto

A well-designed city is highly sustainable. With green spaces, bike routes, and good public transportation systems, cities can be great for the environment. People living in city centers are less likely to drive their cars downtown due to the frustration of getting stuck in traffic and the hassle of trying to find parking, which means that more people in cities enjoy the health benefits of walking and cycling. Given this trend, it’s unsurprising that those living in the downtown areas tend to be slimmer and healthier than people living outside these urban cores. However, sustainability encompasses more than just environmentalism… read more

The President’s Challenge

President's Eco Challenge

In his inauguration speech, President Obama made a few comments on climate change. Environmentalists excitedly thought the time had finally arrived when climate change would be addressed in a meaningful way. President Obama has made comments about the climate and environment since his inauguration speech, but the result is the same. Three weeks after President Obama pledged to focus on the climate but offered no specific second-term plans, also noting political hurdles to legislation, Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Obama to make climate change a higher priority in his second term. An easy scapegoat for the Obama administration… read more

Food Justice

Pears

In her book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, Julie Guthman argues that simply buying organic, local, or otherwise environmentally friendly foods is not sufficient to reform the food system. Rather, she suggests that such approaches simply allow the affluent to opt out of the current system. Meanwhile, the vast majority continue to purchase pesticide-laden, hormone-contaminated, environmentally unfriendly food produced by exploited agricultural workers because they cannot afford to do otherwise. Purchasing organic, local foods certainly provides many benefits for buyers, local farmers, and a small percentage of farm workers who will not be exposed to… read more

Simplifying Modern Life

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Technology makes life easier and more convenient. With the advancements in software and micro chip design, technology has enabled consumers to reduce their carbon footprint by consolidating many devices into one. For instance, it is no longer necessary to carry a camera, or an mp3 player, or a GPS or a laptop or a gaming console or an eBook. Instead a compact Smartphone can do the work of all the above mentioned devices and proves the proverb that “good things come in small packages”. Due to the personal nature of this mobile technology, we as consumers can modify our behaviour… read more

Educator Appreciation

Educator Appreciation

Teachers who work with children are in a position to encourage ecological concepts and introduce and expand upon environmental issues. By providing resources and lesson plans built around sustainable schools of thought, educators can impact children and impart lasting knowledge. Utilizing interactive lessons and lending a global eye for children to learn about the world around them, educators are helping lay the foundation for a green-minded generation. Though my fifth grade elementary school class is long over, I can still remember the section presented on conservation which was a theme throughout that year. Decades later, I can still recall putting… read more

Restorative Justice

Exploting the environment

It is no secret that the richest industrialized countries of the world owe a great deal of their wealth to exploitation of the environment and natural resources. For a long time, the effects of such exploitation on climate change were not given due consideration, now that the subject is of great importance it becomes necessary to ask the hard questions as to who shall bear the greater burden of climate change mitigation. Since the invention of the steam engine and industrialization, much of the west has realized tremendous economic growth and development. Great inventions in machinery and the industrial revolution… read more

Genetically Modified Food

Corn

Genetically modified (GM) foods are produced by plants that have been adapted using cutting edge molecular biology techniques with the goal of creating desirable traits such as pest and disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, faster growth, ability to withstand cold or drought, and improved nutritional content. In the past, such traits were achieved more slowly via selective breeding. GM foods have been promoted as a means of feeding a rapidly expanding world population. Most GM crops are grown by farmers in the U.S., though Canada, China, Argentina, Australia, France, Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, Uruguay, South Africa, Mexico, and Romania also grow GM… read more

Abandoned Property

Abandoned properties

Owners of immovable property in suburban areas have a legal duty to ensure that such properties are in good stead and comply with municipal by laws relating, inter alia, their upkeep and maintenance. There are owners of immovable property who have failed to maintain their property. Abandoning properties in suburban areas is usually unintentional in that when the owners acquire such property, they do so with the intention of either improving an existing structure or erecting a new structure on it. What then happens is that for one of a variety reasons, the owner decides to postpone any developments indefinitely…. read more