I have decided to write this blog as more of a personal reflection, one that can hopefully provide some food for thought. This narrative will very much represent my own perspective and a reflection on some of the experiences that have shaped my mindset around environmentalism. As such I’d ask that you take it all with a grain of salt, as I’m only 21 years old and have still much to learn.
Between 2015 and 2016, the total value of Green Bonds issued has doubled to $81 Billion! Given the fact that this value is expected to double yet again by the end of 2017, this marks what some are considering the beginning of a flourishing new asset class.
With the widespread adoption of environmental policies from countries worldwide, there is a mass amount of green infrastructure to be built in the coming years. Experts think that Green Bonds will be a pivotal tool for pushing this development through to completion. To read more about the Green Bond’s opportunity for social impact AND market yield, click here!
At the beginning of the semester, my professor challenged the students in my Ecological Economics course to an optional assignment: go one week without purchasing anything other than food and school supplies. I would consider myself to be fairly thrifty to begin with; I try to cut down costs where I can and usually only buy things when I need them. So, thinking that this challenge would be easy, I confidently walked to the front of the class and wrote my name on the chalkboard alongside about 20 other students.
Most often when we discuss our ecological footprint, we like to talk about turning off lights before we leave the house, taking shorter showers, and washing clothes on a cold cycle. The fact is, there is an even greater conversation to be had. It’s not about how we USE the products and services around us, but our approach to ownership.
Enter Minimalism. A new lifestyle approach which focusses on REDUCING before we even have to reuse or recycle. People are buying 4 times as much clothing than they did 20 years ago. Whether fuelled by the fast fashion industry, or the ‘Apple consumer’ mindset of buying immediate device upgrades, Minimalism offers a lifestyle alternative which is known to increase personal happiness and our positive effect on the environment. You can read more about the relationship between Minimalism and the environment here!
Just this month, Google has announced that they will be powered by 100% renewable energy by the end of the year. The green industry is accelerating rapidly and major corporations are taking major notice. But let’s not forget about the small guys. Here is my list of the Top 5 Green-Tech start-up companies of 2017.
We’ve done it! The world finally has its first negative emissions power plant. This might seem like an oxymoron, but to the environmentally passionate team at Climeworks, it’s their job.
They’ve managed to modify a geothermal plant in Iceland, to not only generate power, but to remove carbon dioxide from the air around it. What’s more? They power their carbon capture technology through residual waste heat generated by the plant. You can read more here.
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.
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.
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.
Last year the United States of America consumed 4.8 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.