This tag is associated with 47 posts

Changing systems results in bigger benefits

I’m currently listening to E. F. Schumacher’s book Small is Beautiful: A study of Economics as if People Mattered. It’s a collection of essays published in 1973. In it, he talks a lot about how investing in smaller, perhaps even less modern technologies and policies can be better in many communities because they require less … Continue reading

We need to change how we use and recycle plastics to achieve sustainability

Plastics are everywhere. For decades they’ve been cheap and disposable. But plastics are made mostly from crude oil. So between the impacts of the oil and the impacts of the waste plastics, particularly incinerating these wastes, release huge amounts of carbon dioxide. This makes plastic a huge issue for climate change. But, you might ask, … Continue reading

It takes more than adding some fish

Ah, the charismatic megafauna, a curse and a solution. I don’t remember when I first learned this term. I can guarantee it was in an ecology course. Charismatic megafauna are animals, almost always mammals that conservationists think people will care about like bears or caribou. Instead of focusing conservation on improving the entire ecosystem, we … Continue reading

What factors contribute to environmental concern?

I can’t tell you how many papers I have read about the sources of pro-environmental concern or attitudes. If we could figure this out then it could be easier to design information materials intended to encourage pro-environmental behaviours. But there are a lot of factors at play. And they intermingle with each other in ways … Continue reading

Taking care of industrial food waste

In the US, approximately 30-40% of all food is wasted according to the USDA. Generally, on this topic the discussion focuses on how to reduce this number with strategies for every stage of the chain from farm and manufacturing to the consumer. But Saba and colleagues (2023) have taken a different approach. Focusing specifically on … Continue reading

How do you know what clothes to buy?

I do my best to make purchases from more sustainable companies, but I can’t do all the research myself. I rely on choosing retailers that I hope, based on their statements, are doing their own investigation into their supply chains; however, research by Fraser and van der Ven (2022) indicates that fast fashion supply chains … Continue reading

Modelling air pollution with AI

Last week I got part way into my bike commute when I was hit by the weight of the smog. We had an air quality warning in the city for a number of days, but in some areas it was painful to breathe and in others it wasn’t noticeable. Urban air pollution is one of … Continue reading

What do you keep but never use?

I wrote before about things that are too nice to use. At the time, I searched for research on this idea and came up dry. But a recent study has started to fill the gap. Kowalski and Yoon (2022) looked at how the reasons that people are attached to different products impact whether those products … Continue reading

The complexity of skateboarding

I found a recent article by O’Connor, Evers, Glenney, and Willings (2022) that proposed placing skateboarding as a grey activity. This is proposed as different from leisure activities that take place in green spaces and are often seen as promoting sustainability. Grey activities, on the other hand, exist in the space in between. They require … Continue reading

Do you know how to make your diet more sustainable?

I’ve looked into research on food sustainability and to say it’s complex is an understatement. Local good but meat bad; what if it’s local meat? Fruits and veggies good; what if they’re grown with lots of fertilizer and pesticides? What about farming practices and transportation distances and water use? I have a good background to … Continue reading

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