Sustainability
From Highway to High Rise — Rebuilding Inner Cities By Removing Roads

From Highway to High Rise — Rebuilding Inner Cities By Removing Roads

Numerous cities around the country are increasingly removing rather than building highways as a way to spur urban renewal.  American cities, such as Portland, Oregon, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chattanooga, Tennessee have removed highways in recent years and others, such as Detroit, Michigan, Tampa, Florida and Baltimore, Maryland, are seriously considering it, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why This Matters:  In doing so, they are regaining prime real estate which is creating a boom in the development of downtown, pedestrian-friendly spaces and “knitting” neighborhoods back together again.  And soon it may be possible to use federal highway “construction” funds to actually remove them.

Continue Reading 463 words
One Gold Thing:  Silver and Bronze too — Olympic Medals Made From Recycled Electronics

One Gold Thing: Silver and Bronze too — Olympic Medals Made From Recycled Electronics

The new year is just around the corner, and looking ahead, 2020 is going to be a doozy.  But one thing we know everyone will be looking forward to is the summer Olympics, which begin on July 24th.  They will be held in Tokyo and the organizers are promising, under the theme “Be better, together […]

Continue Reading 154 words
U.S. and North America Most Resilient to Climate Change

U.S. and North America Most Resilient to Climate Change

A new study by the Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) finds not surprisingly that rich countries such as those in Europe and North America are more resilient to climate change, with less impact on their economies than other regions.  The EIU used an index and found that the global economy will be 3% smaller in 2050 when analyzed against a new framework they developed, while the U.S. will be 1.1% smaller, according to CNN Business.

Why This Matters:  The extent of preparation for climate change impacts is an important economic health indicator for banks, governments, companies, and other institutions as they make investments in those regions — not to mention the citizens of those regions when they consider the effectiveness of their governing institutions.

Continue Reading 392 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Stay in the know, empower yourself to be a #FriendOfThePlanet, sign up to receive ODP in your inbox each morning!

Now That We Are Starting To Do It, Can We Get Adaptation Right?

Now That We Are Starting To Do It, Can We Get Adaptation Right?

A new study in the Journal of Ocean & Coastal Management concludes that decisions regarding which adaptation projects to put in place are not being made on the basis of what is most efficient and effective in the long run and that the poorest citizens are bearing the brunt of these mistakes, Bloomberg reports

Why This Matters:  Beach replenishment is preferable over hardening coastlines to protect them from the climate impacts we are already experiencing, but sometimes buyouts will be more cost-effective than repeatedly replenishing.   Doing adaptation the right way may be more expensive and may require difficult choices about how to be fair, and not simply undertake projects that disproportionately benefit the wealthy landowners and increase the vulnerability of poor and historically marginalized communities.

Continue Reading 443 words
Prada Becomes First Luxury Brand to Receive a Sustainability-linked Loan

Prada Becomes First Luxury Brand to Receive a Sustainability-linked Loan

The Prada fashion group has become the first luxury brand to sign a sustainability-linked loan. This type of loan (amounting to $55 million for Prada) links annual interest rates to practices that help the environment.

Continue Reading 393 words
A Word About Your Halloween Candy….

A Word About Your Halloween Candy….

The Washington Post has written two pieces this year that examined the two biggest issues plaguing the chocolate industry: child labor and deforestation.

Chocolate companies have made and failed to meet commitments to both. 

Continue Reading 590 words
One Cool Thing: The Green Roof at LEEDS certified Nationals Park

One Cool Thing: The Green Roof at LEEDS certified Nationals Park

Nationals Park has been getting lots of attention since the Washington Nationals won the National League pennant and are playing in the World Series.  The stadium was the first green-built ballpark in the United States and it received a Silver LEED certification.  It has many sustainable design features including high-efficiency lighting, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and […]

Continue Reading 124 words
Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

Corporations Pledge No Arctic Shipping, As New Islands Emerge in Melting Russian Arctic

The Russian navy confirmed on Wednesday the discovery of new islands in their Arctic waters that have emerged as the glaciers around them melted.  And yesterday, a group of corporations led by Nike and the conservation group Ocean Conservancy announced the launch of the Arctic Shipping Corporate Pledge under which they agree not to intentionally ship goods through the Arctic shipping routes that are opening up as a result of the same melting.

Why This Matters:  This is why the Arctic Shipping Pledge could not come at a better time — when the pressure to increase shipping there, with associated ice risks and pollution, is increasing.  Adopting the “precautionary principle” with shipping in the Arctic is the best thing to do, and is consistent with an international agreement banning commercial fishing in the high Arctic that is already in place.

 

Continue Reading 468 words
How Green is Rental Fashion?

How Green is Rental Fashion?

However, some sustainability experts are beginning to examine the footprint of clothing rental services and they may not be as green as originally advertised.

The Issues: Shipping, packaging, and dry cleaning all quickly add up as far as rental clothing subscriptions go.

Continue Reading 373 words
Can Norway Build the First Floating Tunnel In the World?

Can Norway Build the First Floating Tunnel In the World?

Earlier this year, the government of Norway decided to undertake the largest infrastructure project in the world, a “highway” to connect the entire country from top to bottom — crossing under, over and through its more than 1,000 fjords.  The most futuristic part of the $40 billion dollar undertaking is the development of submerged floating tunnels that sit around 30 meters (100 feet) under the surface of the water.

Why This Matters:  This is what governments should do — massive infrastructure projects that will boost the economy and the way of life for its people — that are too big for private corporations or regional governments to undertake.

Continue Reading 525 words
New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.

Why This Matters:  The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands.  But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places.  And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.

 

Continue Reading 463 words
Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Climate Extreme — Outdoor Air Conditioning Keeps Qatar Cool

Qatar is one of the hottest places on Earth and its temperature increases are accelerrating.  As a result, The Washington Post explains how Qatar does the unthinkable — air conditions its public outdoor spaces, fueling the “vicious cycle” of burning fossil fuels that lead to greater warming.

Why This Matters:  If the global average temperature rise exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, then Qatar’s average temperature will increase between 4 and 6 degrees, which would make work nearly impossible and the city could be uninhabitable.  Qatar may be able to cool certain areas for now, but it cannot cool the entire country indefinitely.

Continue Reading 440 words