When you go shopping it’s not easy to keep track on which products or brands you shouldn’t buy to avoid supporting the destruction of rainforests or animal abuse. How can you know which products follows proper environmental standards, which corporations who fuels climate denialism, which brand of rice that are GMO-free or which corporations who are openly supporting LGBT rights? It just seems as an impossible feat to exert your power as an individual consumer and make informed decisions! But a new smartphone app could help you avoid the Koch Brothers, Monsanto or any other corporation with a terrible environmental or social track record the next time you go shopping.
The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere reached a symbolic milestone late last week when it hit historic record levels of 400 parts per million (ppm). Climate scientists warns that the milestone is a wake-up call for people and world leaders as it shows the alarming urgency of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions before it’s too late.
“Crossing 400 ppm is not a reason for celebration,” said Pieter Tans, a scientist with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, after the latest reading was released from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. Because CO2 is the main greenhouse gas contributing to global warming it is imperative that we reduce our CO2 emissions rapidly. But this latest milestone shows the world is moving in the wrong direction. Global CO2 levels have increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, we passed 300 ppm during early 20th century and since then the rate have increased ever so rapidly. The rate has accelerated since the 1950s from around 0.7 ppm per year to 2.1 ppm per year for the last 10 years.
A TV ad which attacks Coca-Cola for trying to stop a recycling scheme in Australia has been stopped from airing on TV. In recent weeks Greenpeace has been campaigning in support of the implementation of nationwide 10-cents-a-bottle recycling scheme in Australia. The environmental organization has called the scheme “a no brainer” and they’ve been critical of Coca-Cola’s efforts to undermine and stop the recycling legislation.
Last week Greenpeace raised $20,000 in donations in just one day to get the TV ad, which attacks Coca-Cola for lobbying against the recycling scheme, shown during Channel Nine’s Friday Night Football broadcast in Australia. But the ad was pulled just minutes before it was supposed to air after being deemed “too offensive” by the channel. Greenpeace quickly blamed Coca-Cola and other beverage makers for putting pressure on Channel Nine to stop the ad from airing.
“They took the money and now they’ve bottled it,” Greenpeace’s Reece Turner said. “Coke has been accused of bullying politicians into blocking cash for containers. It’s a reasonable assumption their influence is behind Channel Nine’s last-minute choking.”
Speaking at a climate conference in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that inaction on global warming is “not an option” and called on nations to redouble efforts to secure an internationally binding climate change treaty.
After being invited by the governments of Poland and Germany, environment and climate ministers from 35 countries – who together are responsible for around 80% of world carbon emissions – gathered earlier this week at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue conference in Berlin for a round of dialogue and informal negotiations ahead of the UN climate summit (COP19) in Warzaw, Poland, later this year.
While stressing that all countries need to act, Merkel demanded immediate and bold action on climate change so that a binding climate treaty that limits emissions that cause global warming can be reached by 2015. “I’m under no illusion that there is a long road ahead,” Merkel said at the conference. But “doing nothing only means that it will get a whole lot more expensive.”
A new bicycle index has ranked the 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Already world-renowned bike-friendly cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam are of course on the list. But there are several newcomers as well, such as Malmö in Sweden and Seville in Spain. Unfortunately, there is still no US city on the top 20 list.
The new Copenhagenize Index has ranked the 20 most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. The index, which ranks a total of 150 cities, has been compiled by Copenhagenize Design, an urban planning consultancy who specializes in bicycle planning. More than 400 people from around the world has helped rank the various cities. Each city have been ranked on the basis of 13 different parameters that takes everything from the availability of satisfying bicycle infrastructure and facilities to the overall bicycle culture in the city and the political climate regarding urban cycling into account.
Terms like going green and reducing one’s carbon footprint are part of the everyday vernacular.
Ironically, one way that people can be part of this increased focus on eco-friendly behavior is by learning about and using a process that has been around for decades—composting.
If you add compost to your garden, the soil improves, according to The Garden of Oz. This leads to healthier and more productive plants. Composting saves literally tons of fallen leaves, clippings, vegetable peelings and other waste from being dumped in a landfill. For example, more than 30 million tons of food is thrown away each year, according CNN. Cutting food waste in half would reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by more than 25 percent.