In farming, high crop yields are often associated with the use of human-made fertilizers. But what if these abundant results could instead be achieved by using farming practices that were more environmentally friendly? An extensive new study of 30 farms in Africa and Europe has shown that the combination of small amounts of fertilizer with natural farming methods like mixing compost or manure with the soil, cultivating a wider variety of crops and cultivating plants like clover or beans that amplify soil’s fertility can result in high crop yields while maintaining the harmony of agricultural ecosystems, a press release from Rothamsted Research said. The study found that a significant amount of chemical fertilizers could be replaced by adopting these more natural techniques, which would have multiple benefits.
On paper, a Community Land Trust [C.L.T.] is a non-profit organization first, but not necessarily foremost. Indefinite land leases within inflated financial and real estate markets are most desirable for the procurement of actual wealth equity. C.L.T.’s are a proactive model for sustainability and break the vicious cycle of our archaic Colonial past. The sociological relevance of a C.L.T. is in developing a community orientation for living a life aligned with autonomous Degrowth and the promotion of New Local Post-Capitalism. New localism is therefore characterized by a cautious devolution of power to the local level in an attempt to better implement national goals. It emphasizes the devolution of managerial over political power — the aim is generally to allow local managers to meet national priorities more effectively, rather than to allow local politicians to derogate from national goals.
Global food systems are at a breaking point. Not only are they responsible for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are also the top contributors to water pollution and biodiversity collapse. On top of that, many aspects of our food systems are extremely vulnerable to disruptions from climate change and other shocks, as we saw in the first months of the pandemic. Agroecology — an approach to farming long practiced by Indigenous and peasant communities around the world — could transform our food systems for the better. And agribusinesses in the Global North are actively looking to agroecology to rebrand and build new markets under the banners of carbon farming and regenerative agriculture.
When the United Nations published its 2022 ‘Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction’ (GAR2022) in May, the world’s attention was on its grim verdict that the world was experiencing an accelerating trend of natural disasters and economic crises. But not a single media outlet picked up the biggest issue: the increasing probability of civilizational collapse. Buried in the report, which was endorsed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, is the finding that escalating synergies between disasters, economic vulnerabilities and ecosystem failures are escalating the risk of a “global collapse” scenario. This stark conclusion appears to be the first time that the UN has issued a flagship global report finding that existing global policies are accelerating toward the collapse of human civilization. Yet somehow this urgent warning has remained unreported until now.
New York City, New York - At Maison Jar – a new grocery store located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in New York City – silos of dry goods line one wall. Dried beans, grains, pasta, nuts, and coffee are beside bins of cooking staples like flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. A refrigerator on the wall opposite holds industrial-sized jars of olives, racks of eggs, and metal trays of fresh produce, and a freezer is stocked with plastic bins of frozen fruit and vegetables. Prepared snacks like dried mangos, wasabi peas, gummy bears, and chocolate-covered nuts fill glass jugs on the center tables. The back of the store has shelves of metal dispensers filled with oil and liquid condiments – like soy sauce and vinegar – glass jars of loose spices, and a table of multi-gallon pump bottles of laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, body lotion, and other personal care products.
In their new report titled, “The right track for Green Jobs” Possible, Autonomy UK and Safe Landing present scenarios for showing that cuts to aviation can more than compensate for job losses to the aviation sector. No more excuses, green jobs are possible especially when people are willing to fly less. While we at Stay Grounded and those in our network have proposed numerous strategies for reducing climate impacts from aviation, we also realize the need to emphasize a just transition towards a grounded future that helps counter some of the negative impacts of reduced flying. The Covid-19 pandemic has given many of us a taste of what a reduced ability to travel, and especially to fly, for leisure and to visit loved ones feels like.
We live in an era of mass overproduction. Offices, apartments, cars, ships, aeroplanes, mobile phones, laptops, batteries, televisions, furniture, air fryers, hot tubs, elevators and escalators. A countless multitude of objects that belong to the anthroposphere – a term for everything that people have made and how it all interacts with the planet. Many of these products end up as waste, buried in landfill, incinerated or dumped – with catastrophic environmental consequences. At the same time, mining companies continue to pollute the planet, exploit local communities and produce huge CO2 emissions in the drive to make more products. But what if there was a way to use what we already have, instead of mining for more raw materials?
Grassroots organizations in Mexico are promoting inclusive recycling by helping usher trash pickers, or pepenadores, into the salaried workforce. In the endeavor, they draw on positive experiences around the developing world. What’s more, Mexican environmental activists have devised unique ways to attract community participation in reducing and recycling domestic waste. Para leer este artículo en Español, haz click AQUÍ Inclusive recycling, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit report, is understood as: “Those waste management systems that prioritize recovery and recycling, recognizing and formalizing the role of trash pickers as key actors. These systems are built through regulations and public policies, initiatives, programs and actions of the public and private sectors.” Above all, it is shared responsibility that implements strong zero-waste policy, community leaders say.
The survival and development of human society depends on water. In fact, global water demand increased nearly eightfold between 1900–2010 as a result of factors like population growth, economic development and a shift in diet. But in China, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, the vital resource is running out. The country’s 1.4 billion population needs water to thrive but it has become limited and unevenly distributed. After decades of urbanisation and pollution, the country is now faced with both water shortages and flooding - only made worse by the effects of climate change. And pollution is making water quality worse, meaning much of the water available is unusable. Insufficient management of local resources plays a part too.
Santa Cruz, CA - In July, the United Nations will convene “Science Days”, a high-profile event in preparation for the UN Food Systems Summit later this year. Over the course of two days, the world will be treated to a parade of Zoom sessions aimed at “highlighting the centrality of science, technology and innovation for food systems transformation.” Nobody disputes the need for urgent action to transform the food system. But the UNFSS has been criticized by human rights experts for its top-down and non-transparent organization. Indigenous peoples, peasants, and civil society groups around the world know their hard-won rights are under attack. Many are protesting the summit’s legitimacy and organizing counter-mobilizations.
It’s the holidays. It’s the buying season. You’re supposed to run out immediately and buy everything you can afford — and actually much more than you can afford — because you can dump everything on credit cards and not worry about paying it off until later. And later won’t suck — the stores promise! But of course truthfully it will. Later will suck. Later always sucks, for most people. But no matter — go quick and get the brand new model of the thing you didn’t like the first time around. Better yet, buy it for someone else because even though they might get as little use out of the gadget as you did, they won’t be able to tell you that — so they’ll just say “Thank you!” because it’s part of the social code.
La Conner, WA - Tribal communities are reviving 3,500-year-old eco-friendly practices to create sustainable beaches along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Teams of tribal members and scientists in the U.S. and Canada have scouted various locations that are ideal areas for shellfish, like clams, and other small marine life to nestle and flourish in what is referred to as clam gardens. The concept is to build rock walls near low tidemarks, which in turn traps sediment and sand to create terraces to cultivate intertidal ecosystems. These sanctuaries encourage sea creature growth and development in shallow coastal waters.
Working in sustainability, one understands that context is key. When we fail to identify or understand the nuanced, complex, systemic and local context of a situation, the best-intentioned solutions simply won’t solve society’s most pressing problems. The first economic model I came across which offered an effective, modern context for our planet was the doughnut, developed by acclaimed economist and author, Kate Raworth. To inform the local context for sustainability, I felt New Zealand needed a doughnut of its own. I have been to too many meetings held to discuss issues affecting minority groups (Māori, Pasifika, women, children) without them at the table.
From today onwards, we have used every last bit of natural resources that Earth can provide within one calendar year and are now living on ecological credit. This year, Earth Overshoot Day occurs on August 22. It marks the imaginary point when humanity’s demand exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. The international research organization Global Footprint Network, which has been calculating this date since 1970, estimates 1.6 planets are required to support our population's way of life.
We are living in a Transition Moment. To those of us who are resilience-minded, this shock to our globalized economy and society, and its ripples in our local communities, did not come as a surprise. We may not have known what form it would take, but we knew it was coming. We have been preparing for years, and now is a time when the skills, the processes, and most of all, the stories and spirit of the Transition Movement and the many other community resilience-building efforts are so needed. Our focus on positive and practical solutions and our vision of a future that is simpler, yet more joyful, abundant, and connected, is medicine for the human soul in these challenging times. Humanity has a common cause, and a noble one at that: protecting the most vulnerable–both physically and financially–in our society.