TAG: Sustainability

Our Deteriorating Natural Capital

Natural Capital

Thanks to the industrial revolution, the modern economy has afforded unprecedented material gains for humankind. We live in a wealthy world. But whilst our ability to buy fancy cars and the latest gadgets may temporarily satisfy our egos, the price we now pay is far greater than the crunch on our credit cards. Since the time of Adam Smith (forefather of the industrial revolution), more of the natural world has been destroyed than throughout all previous human history. As Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L.Hunter Lovins highlight in their book, Natural Capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution (2000): “While industrial… read more

Top 12 Must-Read Foodie Books

Food Books

Here are 12 must-read books for those who are interested in food, health, and sustainability: 1. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan – A fascinating investigation into the ways in which industrial, organic, and alternative foods are produced and distributed, and their social, moral, political, and economic implications. 2. Compassion by the Pound: The Economics of Farm Animal Welfare by F. Bailey Norwood and Jason L. Lusk – An exploration of ethical issues, the feasibility of various animal welfare measures, and what could be done to promote the health and happiness of farm animals…. read more

Losing Our Humanity

Losing Our Humanity

Humankind now lives in a time of profound change, social and economic turmoil, and unprecedented environmental challenges. Some say the future is not what it used to be. That the past is dead. And the present is an illusion. It’s safe to say that the future holds potential vastly different to our “business as usual”, far removed from the economic model to which society’s power-brokers so desperately cling. Change is inevitable. This is not least because the challenges we face are simultaneously environmental, technological, economic, social and cultural. Human self-interest as we know it is destined to evolve. Increasingly, people… read more

Future Student Housing Is A “Hobbit Hut”

Image

Tired of the boring old dorm complex most universities have adopted? Looking to spice up your student years and hit the books in style? Is sustainability something that keeps you up at night? Then boy, this housing concept may be the stuff for you. A 33-square-foot hut developed by Swedish firm Tengbom Architects has been generating buzz this past week. It has about 5 different housing aspects built into its tiny frame, though the question on everyone’s mind is: will it actually work? The concept was initially created for the students at the University of Lund. Everything inside either folds,… read more

The Sustainability Workshop

The Sustainability Workshop

Chloe Meineck, an innovative designer and researcher, has her hands in many projects. Her scientifically based designs have received much attention, and her Music Memory Box has recently won the Most Innovative Product Award from Brighton Enterprise. Another project that she put into action last year called the Sustainability Workshop is intended for use as a resource for teaching students about carbon emissions. Designed for children ages 2 through 6, it features hands on activities that provide children visual experiences to go along with the lessons so that they can grasp the concept. The workshop, which is aimed at school audiences, includes different facets… read more

Window Farming

Window farms

Window farming is a new movement among urbanites who want to grow their own food but lack outdoor space. Many people living in city centers would love to grow fresh produce but don’t have access to a garden or even a paved outside space where they could place containers. Window farms, which are space-efficient indoor hydroponic growing systems, enable city dwellers to turn their sunny windows into productive food gardens. Window farm plants grow in vertical columns of containers that hang from a pole at the top of a window. There are stylish window farm kits available for sale, though… read more

Is It Utopia Or A Mirage?

Green economy vision

Imagine a future in which people and their communities live together peacefully. Imagine a world where every bustling metropolis is now a place of serenity, undisturbed by road rage, traffic noise and stinking fumes. Cars and buses and rail are whisper quiet. The only emissions from moving vehicles are harmless vapours of H2O. Parklands and green spaces have replaced the tangled knots of urban motorways. Oil is barely $5 a barrel but is rarely purchased; producers and consumers have now discovered cheaper, cleaner and more efficient ways to meet their needs in a post-petroleum world. Imagine a world in which… read more

How Green Are They Really?

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a means by which companies make their products or services seem more eco-friendly and sustainable than they actually are. TerraChoice (2010) has identified seven common types of greenwashing: Hidden trade-off: Focusing on one eco-friendly aspect of a product while neglecting all the other negative impacts associated with its production Lack of proof: Making claims of environmental friendliness that are impossible to substantiate (for example, percentage of recycled content in a tissue paper product) Vagueness: Using misleading claims such as “all-natural,” which don’t necessarily mean that products are eco-friendly or even healthy (arsenic is all-natural) Irrelevance: Making true assertions… read more

How We Need Our World

www.huffingtonpost.com

Conservation psychology is the study of the connection between human beings and the environment. Possibly a lesser known discipline than other areas in the psychological realm, there is an intense focus on ecosystems, renewable resources and conservancy in this particular field. Influenced by, but not to be confused with environmental psychology, it looks at how the natural world affects our mental and physical health. This branch of psychology is not afraid to address that human actions are to be attributed to many environmental issues. It further states that current behaviors need to be modified according to the natural balance intended… read more

A Boat That Won’t Float

The Boat That Won't Float

I recently offered to help a friend remove some duckweed from her dam. During our discussions, I recommended using a dinghy to get onto the water to rake up the weed and physically remove it, rather than using sprays or hiring a small harvester. My friend does not own a dinghy, and so the question was raised where she might source one. Surprisingly, a “hippy” friend of ours proclaimed with much enthusiasm that she had recently seen a brand new $20 dinghy at a nearby discount department store. It was made of PVC, came with plastic oars, and would be an… read more