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Sustainability

This category contains 92 posts

What if we got rid of the allergens?

I am deathly allergic to peanuts. I have wondered for some time if I’m allergic to all peanuts or whether certain strains of peanuts might be more or less likely to trigger my body’s overreaction to what should be a mundane protein. This, it turns out, is the focus of some research recently presented by … Continue reading

Cortisol and Anxiety

Somebody asked me about the relationship between hormones and anxiety so I did some research and found some really interesting information about cortisol and anxiety. Rather than focus on a particular study I’m going to just go through some of the more interesting connections. Cortisol is a long-term (more than 3 minutes) stress hormone that … Continue reading

The benefits of hoarding

It seems like you can’t walk through Edmonton’s river valley without being yelled at by a red squirrel. It’s pretty obvious that the squirrel is unimpressed by your presence but what exactly is it freaking out about? Chances are, the squirrel is worried you are going to raid its larder and its telling you to … Continue reading

The social networks of trees

Canoeing through Edmonton’s river valley this fall reminded me of the connections between some plants. Trembling aspen trees do produce seeds but their main means of reproduction is through runners. These runners result in colonies of genetically identical trees. The fall emphasizes this as entire patches of trees will all change colour at the same … Continue reading

Music and cats under anaesthesia

There are lots of reasons why finding ways to decrease the amount of medication that is needed is positive. Reducing side effects is obviously important but there’s also resource use and social equity factors. If we need less medications it can decrease the energy and materials necessary to create those medications. Decreased amounts of drugs … Continue reading

Sustainability is Social and Cultural

The third in the series of audio posts, created for an Introductory Sustainability course and to discuss what sustainability is. Have you ever thought about how the place you grew up affected you later in your life? What messages did you receive from the places you experienced? Was where you lived or spent time focused … Continue reading

What is “The Environment”?

What is “the” environment? Do you know where the border is between environment and not environment? The environment has featured heavily in conversations about sustainability. In fact, most people assume that sustainability is really environmental responsibility and that we need to be better in how we manage natural resources. This, we connect directly to nature. … Continue reading

Reflections on Value and How We Measure Success

Regardless of your opinion of the role of economics in sustainability, it is impossible to argue that the economy does not currently have a large impact on each of our lives and our lives as a community. It is difficult to be concerned about changing light bulbs if I can’t put food on the table, … Continue reading

It’s more than just single use plastics

It’s great to see the increasing range of options to reduce single use plastic use. While reusable water bottles and cloth shopping bags have been around for many years, there is now a growing range of options from stores where you can bring in your own reusable container (at least you could before Covid) and … Continue reading

Why is there green foam on the lake?

I’ve been canoeing a lot this summer, so I’ve also seen a lot of notices about blue-green algal blooms, but this past weekend took it to a whole other level with piles of green foam on the beach and beautifully, but disturbingly coloured banks. While these blooms are relatively common regardless of conditions, warming climates … Continue reading

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