Checking our Environmental Privilege

I would like to preface this post by first introducing myself. My name is Henry Gould, I am a 20 year-old white, cis-, heterosexual male Queen’s student. I grew up in Toronto in an upper class neighbourhood, where I attended a preposterously expensive private school. I have full financial support at University, which has allowed me to spend my summers tree planting and leading canoe trips – effectively doing what I love. I am the quintessential embodiment of privilege, so with a large grain of salt, I invite you to read my take on environmental privilege.

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Coca-Cola Leads the Way In Renewable Packaged Goods

In Coca-Cola’s attempt to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, we can all look forward to the implementation of their PlantBottle. The product is made entirely of sugar-cane derived plastic, with the goal of using exclusively green packaging by 2020. Coca-Cola hopes to lead the packaged goods industry away from its dependence on non-renewably sourced plastic.

Their comments: “It hasn’t been an easy task, but it shows our commitment to doing the right thing int he right way.”

You can read more here.

Curbing Our Traffic Habits – Try Biking Instead

Traffic sucks. We’ve all had dreadful experiences with it, whether it be holding in your bladder crawling at 30 km/hr with no On-Route in site, being stuck on the 401 when your flight has already left Pearson, or having to listen to Toronto blow a 4-1 lead to Boston in the 2013 playoffs through a half broken car radio. Nobody enjoys traffic, but nevertheless it’s something that we’ve become complacent with, something that we’ve come to expect, and accept, in our daily routines.

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Fisheries On Demand: The Future of Aquaculture

Last year the United States of America consumed 4.8  buy glucophage xr online billion pounds of seafood, 50% of which is supported by fish farms. A method of fishing consisting of isolating a ‘pen’ of water to securely harvest fish from. What’s the problem with this? In addition to the societal overconsumption of fish, fish farms are stationary. This means that the pens are trapped within the produced waste of millions of fish. This often leads to disease, and the complete desertification and destruction of nearby ecosystems from increased toxicity.

Cue an innovative solution: InnovaSea is attempting to create free-floating domes which will seemingly solve the problem. What’s more? Not only will these pods ensure that the produced waste is distributed across the ocean safely and effectively, but these pods will actually utilize ocean currents to DELIVER matured fish to shipping ports across the world.

To see the effects of a collaboration between innovation, business and nature the following video goes into amazing details about the Aquapod A3600.  And as always, feel free to read more at this link. 

 

Let’s Break Up with Single Use Plastic

Before I started learning about my environmental impact, I would shop with plastic bags. Going to a coffee shop and grabbing a latte in a single use cup was a no brainer. Buying fruits and vegetables was a process that involved individually bagging the produce (despite the fact that I was going to wash it before eating anyways). I’d leave the house knowing I was going to buy lunch that day, and I’d still opt for using plastic cutlery and purchasing a 300ml container of juice at the restaurant.

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The UK’s Plan to Reduce Power Usage? Machine Learning

Alphabet’s London-based AI outfit DeepMind and the National Grid are in early-stage talks to reduce the UK’s power usage by as much as 10% purely through neural networks and machine learning—no new infrastructure required.

Read more:

https://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2017/03/deepmind-national-grid-machine-learning/

How Can Algae Replace Water Bottles

Did you know that traditional plastic water bottles can take from 450 – 1000 years to fully decompose. Icelandic inventor, Ari Jónsson developed a creative solution to our problem of plastic overconsumption: biodegradable algae-based water bottles. He is part of a growing group of product developers who look to nature to solve for inspiration. Who knows, in future years we may be seeing a growth of algae-based plastics in the consumer market?

Saving Bees is Saving Trees

Bees have a bad rep, but without bees, our diets would consist of not much more than water. Honeybees are a crucial factor in our ecosystem and act as the sole pollinator of 168 billion dollars (US) worth of food globally a year. This sum can be approximated to  ⅓ of the food we consume. Foods such as grapes, almonds, and avocados are dependent on the bee pollination process, crops cannot prosper without it. Essentially, without bees, there would be no avocado toast or wine. Horror. Read more

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