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Tag Archive carbon capture

Newsletter for the weekend of 11th-13th of May 2018

Hello and welcome to another CrowdLeaf newsletter 🙂 Vicky is away this week, usual service will resume when she’s back.

This weeks newsletter is jam packed full of green and sustainable goodness.

With two guest articles coming out in the last week, I point to the upcoming event as listed below, the Brave New World Variety Show Shindig and another fantastic company doing great things to make the world just that little bit more sustainable ‘The Eco Collective’ a fully vegan Supermarket for good.

Firstly our usual plea, anyone or any company who is organising green events, sells sustainable products or any other variation thereof is welcome to contact us about working together on boosting the green community and economy. As part of this we are also restocking our store and are looking for local providers to link up with our store so if you are interested, please email us.

This week just like the last has had some pretty interesting developments. Solar reached a peak at 28.5% of the UK’s energy this early May bank holiday weekend, producing more energy than nuclear and gas powered energy plants.

Again, there are some great events going on this month so please check them out and get involved. Once again last week Ryan @rwscarter was back on the airwaves to discuss all things green and sustainable with Xan Philips, you can listen again here.

The War On Plastic


Government unveils plans for business-backed plastics innovation hub

As mentioned in last weeks newsletter –

Supermarkets appear to be coming forward to tackle a problem that kays at their door, plastic waste from packaging. 

Now Morrisons is trialling bring your own tupperware to reduce plastic waste.

Climate Change and Pollution

UK’s Most Polluted Towns And Cities Revealed

A general view of the steelworks in Port Talbot

Terra watch: Rocks Could Have A Role In Combating Climate Change

AB InBev – the world’s largest brewer orders 800 hydrogen-electric trucks

Energy

Solar on a sunny afternoon

Solar reached peak energy so far this year, on the hottest Early May bank holiday on record.

solar power

Wildlife and Conservation

 

In pictures: Kenya’s coastal conservation heroes

Whitley awards for nature conservation 2018 winners – in pictures

British Ecological Society, answers the questions of Government Europa Quarterly about the importance of biodiversity and conservation efforts across Europe.

Recycling and Sustainability

Storage And Organisation Ideas For Recycling Centers

Morrisons is to allow customers to bring their own tupperware for food storage to avoid unnecessary plastic. 

Heathrow will recycle all disposable coffee cups that are sold and discarded onsite by the end of the year

NGO’s and Campaigners wrote the policy makers to stop non recyclable waste incineration being treated as renewable energy generation. 

Events

Swanage Pier Dive And Litter Pick 12th May

Southdowns Green Fair 13th may

Big Green Wheels 18th May

Brave New World Variety Show Shindig in Southampton – 18th May

Repair Cafe 19th May

Sholing Valley’s Spring Fayre 2018 19th May

Tools And Tips For Reducing Plastic 24th May

Environmental Rock 28th May

No automatic alt text available.

Clean Air Day 21st June

Handy Websites

Something we look to help businesses do in the future. If you are a business that is in the waste(not) business please get in touch –Mixed Plastic Banks In Southampton

Here is Southampton’s list on what to put into your blue lid recycling bin: What Can I Recycle?

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

This brilliant website gives tips and ideas about food waste and how to reduce it.

Love Food Hate Waste

Instead of throwing out or bagging up (to gather dust) all those clothes children quickly grow out of this is a brilliant website to buy or sell unwanted children clothes. It is run by a busy mum who also knows what it’s like with ever growing children and the endless amount of clothes children accumulate.

‘Last year a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away. That’s a staggering 300,000 tonnes that went into landfill. So many of those items could have been re-used and enjoyed by a another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.’

Loopster

Contact us!

Please join us on Facebook, like and share with fellow environmental and wildlife enthusiasts where we will keep you up to date with climate change, sustainable and wildlife and conservation news and anything else green.

We would also like to start adding a directory to our newsletter, making it more accessible for everyone to gain information, join other environmental groups or eco-friendly businesses that sell eco-friendly products. If you or someone you know are interested, please contact us. We can also help advertise and advise on any campaigns and fundraising events, with the option to advertise on our webpage, facebook and newsletters.

Equally if you have an article or blog which is relevant to the local or global cause of making the world cleaner and greener or feel there is an issue that could be part of a discussion, then feel free to send it over and we can publish it.

Contact us via our website:

http://crowdleaf.org.uk/

Look us up on Facebook or drop us an email:

vicky@crowdleaf.org.uk

ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

On behalf of CrowdLeaf,

Vicky & Ryan

Please come and check out our store to support our cause and green community!

CrowdLeaf Store

Pollution Tracking Tools

London Air Pollution Live Data

Worldwide Pollution Live Data

See you next time!

Not just a “war against plastic”, but a reshape of the sector/people is needed, a piece by by @MarIntoini

Flow-Bondi-upperside-people
“A world made of plastics” ….. a sad way to visualize the future of the planet -and our animals- if there is not a real global culture around protection of the environment.

The first step to be taken is to raise awareness that there is a problem and that it has not been necessary created by the plastics industry but from a no responsible use and disposal.

This sculpture shows the need to “place” plastics and ourselves in the correct position to being able to respect one of the most important resources of the planet: the sea and the wildlife. Unfortunately represents one of the most important focus of contamination and devastation of wildlife. This is not a matter of the own nature of plastics but of an aggressive and irresponsible attitude from people. In which an important lack of Education and empathy towards a green culture build a decontrol system without taking individual responsibility. Is it clear for me that at this level of “nature devastation”, penalizations and consequences for individual/companies unethical behavior should be taken very seriously to the point to ban their activities if there are not under certain minimum standards of sustainability.

Ethics has become the only path towards sustainability and not just a matter of good intentions or individual idealism but of a normal practice responsive to a new normal of increasing harm into the environment.

Is estimated that 12 million tones of plastic are in our oceans, killing up to 1 million marine birds and 100.000 marine animals each year*.

For the 30 million plastic bags used in the United States per year alone, 12 million barrels of oil are required. And for all of the water bottles manufactures in the United States each year, roughly 17 million barrels of oil are needed. The drilling, transportation and processing of this oil into plastic materials is an energy intensive process that involves burning fossil fuels.*

There are 50 billion water bottles consumed every year, about 30 billion in the US.*

Its an imperative to “reshape” people´s attitudes and the own plastic industry without the emotional aspects of being in “war” but of a steady action of changing habits and ways of producing. All the devastation linked to disposal is not a matter of responsibility of the plastics industry in itself but of practices that must be condemned by strong sanctions.

The fact that plastics come from burning fossil fuels doesn’t mean that must be completely eradicated but that innovation should lead the path towards a new production system. The smart investment on research and development will definitely lead to an innovative relation between producing plastics and protecting the environment.

“Killing the plastic industry” is not the answer, but a reshape of the sector by a strong boost of their capacities for innovation and reconversion towards a brand new industry. In addition, a strong framework of ethical codes (and sanctions) and a solid Education within their citizens.

In the end, it means a cultural change at all levels –individual and business-.

As the sculpture: plastics, sea and people, could live happily in a harmonious relationship in which Education and a dramatic change of culture towards sustainability and empathy would build the roots for a new green world.

*www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/how-plastic-is-harming-animals-the-planet-and-us/

*www.huffingtonpost.com/norm-schriever/post_5218_b_3613577.html

*Sculpture by Alison Mc. Donald

CrowdLeaf Newsletter 26th February 2018

Hello and welcome this weeks newsletter!

This image is definitely what it is all about – we unite, we make big changes while supporting each other. Is it taking too long to get the movement started with regards to our plastic pollution? After all straws, cups and other non-reusable plastics are still being produced, if it just stopped would everyone not just adapt because they would have to?

Great efforts are being made around the world to reduce our pollution and there are a few beach cleans coming up in the first few days of March so check them out in our events section and get involved.

If you have any ideas, events or articles you would like us to consider publishing please let us know and we can see if we can help!

As a reminder of how stunning our planet is here are some beautiful images which made me smile!

The Week In Wild Life – In Pictures

The War On Plastic

‘Protecting Our Beautiful World” Sir David Attenborough

Michael Gove Denies EU Is ‘One Step Ahead’ On Plastic Straw Ban’.

Michael Gove Set To Ban Plastic Straws From Bars And Restaurants

Nappies, Takeaways And Bubble Wrap Could I Remove Plastic From My Life?

Climate Change And Pollution

Step Up The Pressure On Corporate Polluters

India’s Air Pollution Crisis Risks Becoming Humanitarian Catastrophe

Climate Change Will Push European Cities Towards Breaking Point

British Cities Cannot Afford To Stall Longer On Tackling Air Pollution

Wildlife, Conservation

Twelve Months Of Making A Difference In Wildlife Conservation

‘Ratty’ Begins Fightback, But Water Voles Are Still In Desperate Need Of Help

The Terrifying Phenomena That Is Pushing Species To The Brink Of Extinction

One Million Birds Killed Illegally Every Year At A Wildlife Site In Iran

Recycling And Sustainability

Starbuck’s Trials 5p Takeaway Cup Charge In Attempt To Cut Waste

Nespresso Trials Recycling Bags Just For Coffee Capsules In Affluent Kensington And Chelsea Borough

Glastonbury Festival Set To Ban Plastic Bottles In 2019

Environment

Britain And Europe Must Ban Palm Oil In Biofuel To Save Forests, EU Parliament Told

Events

Moonlight Owl Prowl 1st March

Great British Spring Clean 2nd March

Lepe Beach Clean 3rd March

The Worlds Biggest Beach Clean 4th March

Wildlife And Butterfly (Free Guided Walk With John Veterein) 11th March

Tools And Tips For Reducing Plastic 14th March

2018 Antarctic Lectures: The Albatross About Our Necks 22nd March

Earth Hour 24th March

Uk Butterfly Recorders Meeting 24th March

Handy Websites

Something we look to help businesses do in the future. If you are a business that is in the waste(not) business please get in touch –Mixed Plastic Banks In Southampton

Here is Southampton’s list on what to put into your blue lid recycling bin: What Can I Recycle?

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

This brilliant website gives tips and ideas about food waste and how to reduce it.

Love Food Hate Waste

Organic Veg Box Finder – Soil Association

Instead of throwing out or bagging up (to gather dust) all those clothes children quickly grow out of this is a brilliant website to buy or sell unwanted children clothes. It is run by a busy mum who also knows what it’s like with ever growing children and the endless amount of clothes children accumulate.

‘Last year a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away. That’s a staggering 300,000 tonnes that went into landfill. So many of those items could have been re-used and enjoyed by a another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.’

Loopster

Contact us!

Please join us on Facebook, like and share with fellow environmental and wildlife enthusiasts where we will keep you up to date with climate change, sustainable and wildlife and conservation news and anything else green.

We would also like to start adding a directory to our newsletter, making it more accessible for everyone to gain information, join other environmental groups or eco-friendly businesses that sell eco-friendly products. If you or someone you know are interested, please contact us. We can also help advertise and advise on any campaigns and fundraising events, with the option to advertise on our webpage, facebook and newsletters.

Equally if you have an article or blog which is relevant to the local or global cause of making the world cleaner and greener or feel there is an issue that could be part of a discussion, then feel free to send it over and we can publish it.

Contact us via our website:

http://crowdleaf.org.uk/

Look us up on Facebook or drop us an email:

vicky@crowdleaf.org.uk

ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

On behalf of CrowdLeaf,

Vicky & Ryan

Please come and check out our store to support our cause and green community!

CrowdLeaf Store

Pollution Tracking Tools

London Air Pollution Live Data

Worldwide Pollution Live Data

See you next time!

CrowdLeaf Newsletter 16th January 2018

Welcome to this weeks CrowdLeaf newsletter.

The world is seeing and making more effort to cut out plastic pollution and Teresa May has brought out her statement of commitment to reduce this for the UK by 2042.

We at CrowdLeaf hope to see this happen a lot sooner for the sake of all the marine life, birds and the environment in general. We know we cannot achieve this by sharing the news alone. Many of our usual readers perhaps don’t need inspiring but if collectivly we can inspire and educate others to want to switch to a more environmentally friendly way of living then we should.

CrowdLeaf have taken the Plastic pollution plan and have made it more ambitious, the sort of ambition that we hope the government will eventually find. 

The link for which can be found here, written by Ryan Carter with input from me Vicky Wallis : Our criticisms and suggestions for the Plastic Plan .

There is still time to donate to this great cause – WWF UK Birthday Fundraiser.

Top Stories

New York City to Divest From Fossil Fuels And To Sue Companies

Worlds Biggest Wildlife Reserve Planned For Antartica 

 

Teresa May Vow Commitment To Reduce Plastic Pollution By 2042

 

 Ford To Invest 11bn And Have 40 Hybrid And Fully Electric Vehicles By 2022

Climate change,Pollution And Energy News 

 

Teresa May Calls For Fruit And Vegetables To Be Sold Without Plastic Packaging.

How To Build A Rubbish Business

Scotland Becomes First Country to Outlaw Plastic-Stemmed Cotton Swabs

Toxic Plastic Pollution Destroying Scotlands Beach’s, Loch’s and Rivers

Glasgow Pubs Back Calls For Ban On Plastic Straws

Can supermarkets get rid of unnecessary plastic packaging by 2042?

New Renewable Projects Planned Across Australia As Tesla Effect Hits

Wildlife, Conservation and Environment News

Millions of Trees To Be Planted To Create North Of England Forest

Here is the most current list of the world’s top 25 most endangered primates

Sustainability News

Plastic Eating Mushroom – Cleans up Non Biodegradable Plastics

Eco-House Made From Waste That Would Normally Be Burnt

Fully Solar Powered EV Wins Major Award

10 Plastics You Can Easily Quit Today!

Recycling News

 

Rise In Sales for Reusable Coffee Cups

Oxfam – The Rising Star Of The UK’s Online Fashion Industry

Recycled Cardboard Bedroom Set – Nest Bedding

Events

Renewable Energy At Local Level – Alton – Wednesday 17th January 

Green Spaces Walk – Portsmouth – Saturday 20th January

Penguins Flash Mob – Southampton – Saturday 20th January

Zero Waste Portsmouth Monthly Meeting – Portsmouth – Friday 26th January

Handy Websites

Something we look to help businesses do in the future. If you are a business that is in the waste(not) business please get in touch –Mixed Plastic Banks In Southampton

Pledge Your Commitment To Improving Hampshires Recycling Habits

Hampshire Recycling

Organic Veg Box Finder – Soil Association

Instead of throwing out or bagging up (to gather dust) all those clothes children quickly grow out of this is a brilliant website to buy or sell unwanted children clothes. It is run by a busy mum who also knows what it’s like with ever growing children and the endless amount of clothes children accumulate.

‘Last year a quarter of the clothing we got rid of was simply thrown away. That’s a staggering 300,000 tonnes that went into landfill. So many of those items could have been re-used and enjoyed by a another child, instead of contributing to the destruction of the planet.’

Loopster

 Contact us!

Please join us on Facebook, like and share with fellow environmental and wildlife enthusiasts where we will keep you up to date with climate change, sustainable and wildlife and conservation news and anything else green.

We would also like to start adding a directory to our newsletter, making it more accessible for everyone to gain information, join other environmental groups or eco-friendly businesses that sell eco-friendly products. If you or someone you know are interested, please contact us. We can also help advertise and advise on any campaigns and fundraising events, with the option to advertise on our webpage, facebook and newsletters.

Equally if you have an article or blog which is relevant to the local or global cause of making the world cleaner and greener or feel there is an issue that could be part of a discussion, then feel free to send it over and we can publish it.

Contact us via our website:

http://crowdleaf.org.uk/

Look us up on Facebook or drop us an email:

vicky@crowdleaf.org.uk

ryan@crowdleaf.org.uk

On behalf of CrowdLeaf,

Vicky

Please come and check out our store to support our cause and green community!

CrowdLeaf Store

Life’s Evils & The Damage of Climate Change

There is an exponential global risk of growing poverty and displaced people induced by extreme weather, political turbulence and environmental damage many of which are events beyond our imagination. Global warming is taken scientifically as a given, with nearly all scientists agreeing that climate change would happen with or without people’s interference, though to a lesser degree and slower pace. It is therefore safe to say that the climate is not helped by the human populace. The collective lack of preparations to mitigate the effects of global warming are bordering on self-induced mass harm, while the switch to more environmentally friendly policies and clean and sustainable energy is nowhere near fast nor bold enough to provide the alternative. Surely these perpetrators are aware that we are all on the same planet and so far nobody can get off. As of 2013 renewable energy provides 21.7% of all electricity generated across the globe, not enough. This is heading in the right direction but with oil licenses still being given and mines still opening for coal and other fossil fuels the percentage change is demeaned by the negative impact of continued bad practice.
Since the beginning of time civilisations have fought and changed, almost evolved as a society often with its back to the wall. A classic example is to think of when man used to live in caves during an ice age, to when societies were formed and measures to stop us killing each other were implemented. Laws that govern societies and progress towards a better level of health and the tackling of the evils of life such as poverty, were met with ambitious targets to alleviate these plights. The issues are now more of regulatory capture of states such as those with powerful fossil fuel lobbies, or an.over reliance on fossil fuels such as OPEC countries. OPEC countries such as Venezuela rely on oil revenues to sustain a response to the other often immediate issues such as poverty or political stability. There are also those who refuse to switch to sustainable energy based on perceptions of how they work, how much they cost and for the classic problem of ‘range rage’ for electric vehicles which is slowly falling due to an increase in battery performance and more super fast charging stations being installed. The relative price of solar or wind is now so good that it is more than competing against alternative or what we have come to call traditional or conventional fuel sources.

So I implore you to take one simple message, we can’t carry on like this and if you personally take a stance and take the plunge towards a greener more sustainable world, others will follow. Switch energy provider, divest from fossil fuels and invest in community owned sustainable forms of energy, plant a tree, drive less and walk more. Need I go on? We all know that there is no time to lose, so go green.
If your looking for an alternative way to fill a Christmas Stocking or spend money on Black Friday or Cyber Monday try our shop and support the forum as we try to grow and support the green community. CrowdLeaf Store we are doing our own version of Black Friday here early CrowdLeaf, Green Friday and Cyber Monday for us is Clean Monday. Keep an eye on our store for sone pretty amazing world friendly products with discounts for the weekend only.




10th year of the pioneering SuperHomes Open Days

This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award winning national network of over 200 homes which have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. SuperHome owners will open their doors this September as part of our Open House events, and there is a record 100 free events occurring this year across the UK. 

SuperHomes is a project managed by the National Energy Foundation, an independent charity that aims to reduce the use of energy in buildings.
The Open Days are a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves both the challenges and benefits associated with making older homes more energy efficient, and view retrofit technologies in action. The free Open House events occur every September where the SuperHome owners provide honest and detailed accounts of their renovation stories and offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Since 2007 SuperHomes has been at the forefront of domestic eco-retrofit and the network continues to lead the way in carbon conscious renovation. To date, 222 homeowners have all transformed their properties through environmentally minded renovation resulting in lower energy bills, smaller carbon footprints and a huge increase in comfort levels.
SuperHomes include all types of houses, ranging from Grade II listed 16th Century ironstone properties to 1990’s build ex-council houses; from 6 bed Victorian mansions to 1940 terraces; from idyllic ecolodge retreats in rural Snowdonia to single story flats in the heart of London.

The technology found within and around the properties is innovative and market leading, and our SuperHomes offer exceptional, and often unique, examples of green technologies.

In addition to the more mature aspects of green renovation such as external wall insulation, solar PV panels and heat pumps, our houses boast a variety of cutting edge technologies such as Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems, green roofs, biomass boilers, and even whole house airtight membranes.

SuperHomes are pioneers in renewable technology and energy efficiency.






We have a number of SuperHomes opening for the first time this year. This includes our most recent addition Pamela whose 1920s ex-Council house in North London is carbon neutral! She achieved this by installing many technologies, including Solar Water Heating, Solar PV Panels and Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery. Visit Pamela on 16th/17th September on a free tour. Another interesting first time opener is Paul from Flintshire who retrofitted his 1960s home for under £10,000, and still managed to achieve a carbon saving of 64%! Visit Paul for a tour on the 9th September to learn about how to keep eco-retrofit affordable. To find an Open Day near you please visit http://www.superhomes.org.uk/get-inspired/events/.

Energy used in the home accounts for more than a quarter of total energy use and carbon emissions in the UK. Houses in the UK are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, and the majority of the housing stock is made up of older homes which are typically very energy inefficient. Without tackling this problem and improving the energy efficiency of homes we will not be able to meet our emissions target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 to meet the requirements of the legally binding Climate Change Act. Open House events like SuperHomes are great ways to distribute knowledge and passion about retrofit, and persuade people to take the carbon conscious decision to reduce energy use in their home.

The current, post-Green Deal (the Coalition Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy that was scrapped in 2015), climate, with lowered green incentives and a distinct lack of interest from subsequent governments has seen the focus on eco-retrofit waver. Yet the refurbishment of our homes and buildings is one of the greatest challenges we face to reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. SuperHomes harnesses the enthusiasm of our energy saving pioneers to stimulate community-led renovation.
SuperHome Open Days occur throughout the year with a co-ordinated national event throughout September. Most of our openings coincide with Heritage Open Days (7-10th September) and London Open House (16/17th September). To find out more visit www.superhomes.org.uk
To help SuperHomes celebrate this anniversary we’ve partnered with the Ecology Building Society who are supporting this year’s September openings.

SuperHome owner #59, Mark Brown stands in front of his 1980’s detached house. The High Wycombe property has achieved 90% carbon savings. Visit on 9th/10th September.

For Green innovation we need Green Education by @ MarIntroini

That´s the challenge and the greatest revolution: being educated around a Green culture able to develop strong skills and become sustainable individual and collectively.

Once again Education become the powerful pillar for building new structures. A no reliable political system and global institutions that progressively are loosing capacity of influence transform Education in the only source for new initiatives.

Work towards a sustainable world that face climate change with determination is not a matter of “recycling” or “reducing energy consumption” but of educating generations around the concept of being green. That supposes more than specific actions but entire systems around a green culture. Is not happening.

Green Education is not about educating people around green issues but to boost green professionals. Architects, engineers, activists are all professions directly linked with the environment, however a resilient world could only be built by a deeper action. Lawyers, politicians, teachers are also paramount for creating frameworks and spaces of green action and reflection; because a green education is also about “construction “ of creative minds that from any field of work could achieve a goal of innovation and adaptation.

Simply… make a real revolution in our Education systems.

A world hit by crisis and a population no prepared to change the system don´t lead to redirected the society into a “resilient focus”. It is here that Education plays that fundamental role to create enough defenses against uncertainties. A pillar through which the rest of the reforms could be addressed from a stronger position.

The question is: are we educating to boost professionals able to innovate? or are we delivering traditional education systems with additional updates on technology? There is a big difference and current systems do not seems to see it, leaving innovation only for creative people that develop a particular skill over a particular green project. Innovation is normally seen as a consequence of Education, but it should be the educational system that prepares professionals to work and live in a world of uncertainty that is demanding a permanent state of Innovation.

Education and Innovation feed each other, we need to educate on how innovate and we need also to Innovate on how we educate. Creating professionals able to adapt to any kind of work to face new challenges.
To be prepared for a new dimension we need to build globally although from an individual basis in which a Green Education delivers the platform to boost the workforce that goes beyond current parameters.
It is not just about innovating educational systems but to reshape current system accordingly to the new challenges. It is also a matter of transforming patterns of learning by maximizing creativity and preparing to innovate in all disciplines. The holistic approach that we are referring needs innovation at all levels and not just reserved for “skillful and creative minds”

In current process of awareness of the need to build a Green culture it becomes essential to prepare individuals to be innovators in all professions for facing uncertainties and build resilient societies. The more educated we are, the more prepared we´ll be to search for innovative solutions that face adaptation challenges with strength and determination.

 

Mar Introini

Blogger/Analyst Political-Economy thesustainabilityreader.com







Architecture as a tool for building resilient cities by @MarIntroini

Being resilient means face uncertainty with pillars that guarantee stability and capacity to response to the “new”. This is how new realities forces to reshape a world in which infrastructure and services become flexible and versatile. Migration crisis or climate change pushes us to rethink a world in which urban spaces are designed for new-revolutionary standards of living.

Half of humanity, around 3.5 billion of people lives in cities today. By 2030, almost 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas which represents a strong reason for building cities that welcome this overwhelming number of people and their demands in a threaten environment.




Even if there is a political global commitment to achieve Goal 11 of the SDG´s: “Make cities and human resettlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” is important to raise awareness and build new parameters at local level that mark the road for the next decade in a determinate and ambitious way. In the context of current “broken” world of weak commitment to global standards there is much more challenge and the search for stronger tools become paramount.

Architecture has become that tool, the relief that the world is awaiting. With innovation and creativity is showing its capacity to reinvent itself and construct the unimaginable. Rooftop gardens, urban farming, self-energy efficient houses, office-building with an integrated farm, are just examples of the impressive changes that architecture could make in societies. Is it not just a matter of changing design of construction styles but also a new way of living, above all producing a feeling. The emotional element that determinate the need for achieving results from a different perspective. In which multicultural spaces boost a mentality and a culture around tolerance and inclusiveness. The Pavilion in Vojvodina, northern Serbia* it’s a good model of this new trend that is helping to boost a new innovative concept that –in this case- assures freedom of religion. The acceptance of a “melting pot” of religions becomes also a matter of “architecture design”.

Globalization has brought more movement of people and also new demands for clean and healthy standards of living in which the cultural aspect cannot be missed. People move through public patterns of behavior and the sense of being part of a general consensus. Despite confrontation there is an important element of “being part of…” that allow them to be in one position or another. Is with this spirit that cities has contributed greatly to create multicultural societies. “Being part of….” is not a matter of local perspective but of the creation of open and inclusive spaces. The boost of globalization comes from the free movement of people –please do not confuse it with massive flow or refugees- that transform societies in a different and better place. Indeed, little towns that keep traditions intact are inclined to disappear as it doesn´t deliver the needed standards that fit in current world. Precisely migration has brought this element of merger of traditions and birth of a new layered of societies. That is the reason of being a value added for the growth of cities, therefore societies.

The complementary work of architecture and urban planning are key elements to achieve these new and ambitious standards. A green way of living means a smart urban planning and architecture enough flexible and versatile that gives room to a new philosophy of living.

Concrete, wood, timber, natural materials and a smart mind to be creative and innovative enough to build cities able to welcome all nature of people and “knit” new habits to protect the environment and adapt to current and future crises.

“Whatever you do, promise me that every project you make or design, you´ll take the risk of doing something for humanity”. Frank Ghery. Indeed, whatever is done should be focused on a creative and innovative architecture that helps to boost pillars around adaptation and an urban planning, ambitious enough to boost a resilient society.

Mar Introini

Blogger/Analyst Political-Economy thesustainabilityreader.com




Isolating the US from green policies would make it less competitive by @marintoironi

We have seen with astonishment a recent resolution from American government, announcing its commitment ditch its Climate Change Action Plan.

After COP21 the world became a block against climate change as never before. That includes not only policies but also the consolidation of the concept of global leadership that emerges as a solid and stable pillar that marks the beginning of an effective interconnected system of joint action. However, this is not suitable for anti-globalist forces that see in this kind of initiatives a threat for their isolationist strategy that helps them to boost a far right agenda. Surprisingly climate change action has become dangerous from a nationalist political perspective.




Trump makes America an isolated Nation not only on political and foreign affairs terms but also regarding green policies and a world that is moving towards a joint action focus.

The U.S. is not rich enough in natural resources to be self-sustaining in future decades. Isolate US from global green policies in addition to not investing on innovation is an explosive combination that would make the U.S. less competitive and no resilient. Indeed, green policies are part of being resilient at national level but are not enough if is it not in conjunction with global action and cooperation: that is the only resilient way out. That goes directly in relation to a global and safe system of international relations…. not multiple-selective-bilateral relations. Even if there were political will for investing in green energies like solar or wind, they’re will not being enough if is not under good and healthy international relations. It´s for this reason the imperative for generating a new trend and a new culture among American people: to reduce individual consumption, invest in green clean energies and above all on innovation.Taking in account that US is the country that spends more in energy than the rest of the world. Americans constitute 5% of the world’s population but consume 24% of the world’s energy.

If there is a boycott from US to a global joint action by cancelling international agreements this could only be translated in loneliness in resilient terms.

That´s not good news for American people although good for those American industries that are not willing to invest in clean energies. Paradoxically one of the main argumentations for this switch in American focus was “recovering our jobs” however it doesn´t seem to include the ones generated by clean energies.“8.1 million renewable energy jobs that exist globally, 3.5 million are in China, compared to less than one million in the U.S.”.*China will invest £292bn in renewable power by 2020, which means new and more employment at national level. Investing in renewables is it also part of a growth strategy.

This “break” with the rest of the world is it also a break within America as it goes against the will of many citizens that have seen in climate change action a priority in the political agenda. Which represents a stronger political failure worst than the investment in itself. Going back in time and loosing all the work done at Educational level, making citizens aware of their commitment with the environment, means literally destroying an emerging American green culture as well as divided a community of ideas and potential. Joint action is the way out at global and national level.

US will become weaker and this lack of investment and sensibility towards the new challenges would make it vulnerable concerning the most important aspect of a society: Education.

Cooperation will become the only way for surviving and become resilient from a world hit by multiple crises. Joint action represents the way out that US will not have if there continue in this line of isolation and “personal” foreign affairs relations. No commitment with international agreements in addition with no solidarity is generating a negative spiral. This is not only about a unilateral anti-global focus it will generate an anti-US boycott against American products and no cooperation in times of crises.

That is the devastating impact of Trump´s anti-green policies that are not just focusing in destroying this industry but the impact that creates: becoming not competitive. Not even their allies are in line with this focus. Russia -despite their intention to have a good relation with US- has developed a strong investment in clean energies, e.g. bio fuels.

Saying no to investment in clean energies means saying no to sustainability in the medium term and saying yes to profits to private interest in the short term.

In terms of competitiveness, the development of clean energies has become part of a modern industrial and commercial way of living and producing. US will become an outsider that even there new and bilateral alliances will not accompanied them.

The only basis to explain this resistance to be out of a green global world is because of a short-term vision on financial investment. There is not a logical or visionary reason that could support a decision that will leave US behind on new technologies. Hence, more vulnerable for facing a world submerged in multiple crises. An unjustified denial for investing in innovation completes this stage of chaos in which short-termism is leading the way without vision and a smart strategy able to make US resilient.

 

*http://bit.ly/2jd6rSl

*Surrealist picture: Hossein Zare




The Green Crowd – A Partial Follow up to Deep Impact  Conference

Following on from the Deep Impact Conference this November just gone, I managed to talk to some really cool people. People like Ian Tracey from Innovate UK and The Knowledge Transfer Network, Bill  Morrow, Helen Farmer, a speaker from Indigogo, Jon Terry from PWC , and more.

I got to talk,  to the experts, to the people in the room and the people making the alternative finance industry grow. So obviously  I asked them about sustainability I asked them about the future of green issues. Below is a video of what they had to say with regard to using crowdfunding in the green, sustainability and conservation communities which we here at CrowdLeaf all make up.
Do you  know what they said?

Have a listen.





They agreed, the future of the planet belongs to us, it is our time, it is our time, it is our time… our time to take the bull by its horns to take the money from the industries that destroy the planet and put the money into industries that create the future. Save today and preserve yesterdays species and planet today ready for tomorrow.

People seemed to enjoy the day, the world was put to rights and issues such as the ‘Grey Suit Factor’ in the Women Unbound report which highlights some really interesting work showing women doing as well as and better than men in crowdfunding campaigns. Some of the best crowdfunding practices and views from both the UK, the US and across europe surrounding the future of alternative finance. Which has been done with Barry James, who as CEO, co-founder and instigator of the Crowdfunding Center and the Deep Impact Conference worked with PwC and many more ( including me over a few pints) to create a report that may yet change the way we see the ‘glass ceiling’ and most importantly how we get past it.

Distinguished speakers such as Sarah Warman who is the Commander in Chief of the task force for the crowdfunding success BrewDog , Bill Morrow CEO and founder of Angels Den, Kathleen Monigue from Crowdfund Better USA, Tim Wright from Twingables, Julian Swan from The Imagination Factory, Michelle Rodger from Tartan Cat Communications, Jon Terry from PwC, Clive Lewis from ICAEW Chartered Accountants, Jamie Veitch who coordinated the first ‘Community share issue’ into media in 2014 and many more.

It was a great day, I really enjoyed the day and found out some really interesting things going on in the world of Alternative finance, fin-tech and some really interesting and cool products such as FormCard which I think might go someway to giving a better name to plastic. I am still opposed to plastic, but the thing that gets me most is the single use plastic, the plastic bags and the broken bits of plastic our grandkids, grandkids will be digging up, so any sort of reusable plastic will go a long way to cutting the level of waste both now and in the future.

View more about FormCard here from their crowdfunding campaign information video.