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EARTH MATTERS
Green, Sustainability and Biodiversity.
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Now At Your Local Gas Pump: Algae Oil

Now At Your Local Gas Pump: Algae Oil | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
A new source for biodiesel is making its debut at some San Francisco gas stations. Will algae be able to prove itself as a fuel alternative?

For years we’ve been hearing about the promise of crude oil derived from algae. In theory, it sounds like the solution to our CO2-heavy gasoline habit: Algae requires very little land to grow (significantly less than most other biofuels), it’s cheap, and it’s abundant.

But algae requires a lot of water to grow and scaling up fuel projects has been difficult for a variety of logistical reasons. Nonetheless, you can now get a side of algae fuel with your petroleum if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and drive a car with a diesel engine.

Read more: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680909/now-at-your-local-gas-pump-algae-oil
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How personal actions can kick-start a sustainability revolution

How personal actions can kick-start a sustainability revolution | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Step it up! Small is the new big.The environmental movement is divided over the importance of small steps — are they a critical starting point or a distraction from needed policy and institut...
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Psychology of Sustainability – An Introduction

Psychology of Sustainability – An Introduction | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Sustainability. Everyone has heard the word. It is one of the hot terms of the day. But what does it mean?

There is much debate going on about how to interpret and apply the concept. The UN definition on sustainable development, written by the Brundtland Commission, is perhaps the most widely acknowledged of them all: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

But this is only a starting point. Written in 1987, this report could not have fully anticipated the global turbulence that is taking place today. The Berlin Wall had not yet fallen, 9/11 had not yet happened, and climate change was still something people were discussing in the halls of academia. Certain key factors were not yet in play.

Read more: http://urbantimes.co/2012/09/sustainability-of-psychology-an-introduction/
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Starbucks will recycle food scraps and coffee grounds for bioplastics

Starbucks will recycle food scraps and coffee grounds for bioplastics | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Starbucks Hong Kong and The Climate Group launch a project to recycle spent coffee grounds and other food waste for making bioplastics and detergents.

Starbucks is exploring the possibility of recycling its spent coffee grounds and other food waste to make bioplastics, detergents and other useful products. If the new project is successful, it could yield enormous benefits to the company in terms of easing waste disposal costs while making a significant contribution to its sustainability profile, too.

Read more: http://bit.ly/PlFjvG
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'Hug the Monster' for Realistic Hope in Global Warming (or How to Transform Your Fearful Inner Climate)

'Hug the Monster' for Realistic Hope in Global Warming (or How to Transform Your Fearful Inner Climate) | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it

 A Metaphor to Change Fear Into Action and Extinguish the Panic and Despair so Deadly in a Great Crisis 


Sooner or later, everyone who learns about the rapid advance of manmade global warming must deal with the question of fear.


For many years now, the worlds scientists and economists have depicted upheavals in security plans, financial networks, and food and water systems due to the rapidity with which annual global temperature is rising as a result of excess carbon emissions.


But those who have also hugged this monster are finding that doing so transforms the crisis:


Read more: ‘Hug the Monster’ for Realistic Hope in Global Warming (or How to Transform Your Fearful Inner Climate) - ABC News http://abcn.ws/JoD6uY

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Happy Arbor Day... Or Is It?

Happy Arbor Day... Or Is It? | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Friday, April 27th 2012 is Arbor Day in the U.S. The national and international celebration started many years ago.


Wondering how you can help this Arbor Day? Read Mother Nature Network’s 5 Ways To Stop Deforestation, or get involved with the Nature Conservancy’s incentives.


Read more: Arbor Day 2012: A History Of The Movement And Threats Of Deforestation http://huff.to/JxYI5d

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Garden Earth - Beyond sustainability: Garden Earth - The Book

Garden Earth - Beyond sustainability: Garden Earth - The Book | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it

Garden Earth – from hunter and gatherers to global capitalism and thereafter


Garden Earth stands out from the current flow of books on climate change, the financial crisis, globalization, the food and agriculture crisis or peak-oil.


It avoids the trap of using just one lens to make sense of the world. It does, however, put these present day problems in a wide and deep perspective.


The main themes examined by Garden Earth are ecology; society and its power relations; the market economy and capitalism; and, technology and energy.


Read more: Garden Earth - Beyond sustainability: Garden Earth - The Book http://bit.ly/JlOA42

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Americans on Environment News: We Want More!

Americans on Environment News: We Want More! | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
A new poll shows that over 79% of Americans think we need a drastic overhaul of environmental news coverage.


It may not come as much of a surprise that news on the environment drags far behind in popularity compared with, say, news on whether or not Lindsay Lohan wears a bra, but apparently Americans are beginning to realize there's a problem.


Read more: Americans on Environment News: We Want More! | Mother Jones http://bit.ly/HZePNy

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As Threats to Biodiversity Grow, Can We Save World’s Species?

As Threats to Biodiversity Grow, Can We Save World’s Species? | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it

With soaring human populations and rapid climate change putting unprecedented pressure on species, conservationists must look to innovative strategies — from creating migratory corridors to preserving biodiversity hotspots —if we are to prevent countless animals and plants from heading to extinction.


The world community has the power to greatly reduce the prospect of an extinction spasm by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and launching large-scale conservation and forest preservation programs that both slow global warming and provide a sanctuary for countless species.


Read more: As Threats to Biodiversity Grow, Can We Save World’s Species? by Lee Hannah: Yale Environment 360 http://bit.ly/ISx0Or

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Can You Be a Business-Minded Environmentalist?

Can You Be a Business-Minded Environmentalist? | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
How one VP turned his passion for environmentalism into new business opportunities.


It's not uncommon to have interests that collide when doing business-personal and professional lives, your individual view on an issue versus a customer's needs, or the impact of commerce on the environment.


Read more: http://www.inc.com/karl-and-bill/can-you-be-a-

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Is Fashion Ready To Go Green? - Forbes

Is Fashion Ready To Go Green? - Forbes | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Christie’s third annual Green Auction: Bid to Save the Earth drew attention to the fashion industry's push to go green, and the work that still needs to be done.


The fashion industry is a lot of things—glamorous, big business, global. The most environmentally conscious sector however, it is not.


“We wanted to create an innovative fundraiser that not only would raise money, but also would bring awareness to the critical protection needed for our environment.”


Read more: Is Fashion Ready To Go Green? - Forbes http://onforb.es/HAqsEF

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Changing yourself, changing the world

Changing yourself, changing the world | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it


How can sustainability professionals avoid burnout as they seek to transform companies...


The lack of self-appreciation is often a hidden dynamic, but the reason it is so important to bring into awareness is that continually giving without the ability to

receive is a bit like running a car without a dynamo. Sooner or later it will run out of power. That's what burnout is all about.


Read more: Changing yourself, changing the world | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk http://bit.ly/HPDiBL

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Mindfulness as a Path to Personal Sustainability

Mindfulness as a Path to Personal Sustainability | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Everything you do actively creates your experience, in the past, now and in the future. Practicing mindfulness in your everyday living and adopting a mindset of sustainability allows you to live in harmony with yourself and the world around you.


In relation to sustainability, it involves developing a consciousness of cause and effect. In other words, being aware of how your behavior affects the current situation, as well as being aware of future implications. It is similar to the practices of ahimsa and karma in yoga philosophy.


Read more: Dr. Terri Kennedy: Mindfulness as a Path to Personal Sustainability http://huff.to/HJDhMj

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Breaking: Portland sustainability chief admits ‘Portlandia’ isn’t really a parody

Breaking: Portland sustainability chief admits ‘Portlandia’ isn’t really a parody | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Sustainability boss Susan Anderson explains how America's green capitol got that way -- and how Portland faces challenges that go beyond making sure the cool kids have enough food trucks.

Being the sustainability director of Portland is a bit like being the oil minister of Saudi Arabia. You don’t exactly run the place, but you do have the region’s chief export on tap. Portland’s public transit system is held up as a model for the country. Per capita carbon emissions are down 26 percent since 1990. Portland consistently tops lists for most bike-friendly city. The city even has an eco-pub.

Read more: http://grist.org/cities/breaking-portland-sustainability-chief-admits-portlandia-isnt-really-a-parody/
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A Gorgeous Exploration Of The New Visual Language Of Sustainability

A Gorgeous Exploration Of The New Visual Language Of Sustainability | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
"Cause and Effect examines how one of the most important breakthroughs for the environmental movement might just be its packaging."

For all its good intentions, the environmental movement has historically been plagued by aesthetic ineptitude.

Those who’ve worked tirelessly to conserve resources, reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, and fight on behalf of environments that can’t fight for themselves have often seen their causes suffer for the simple reason that their marketing was historically less potent than, well, real marketing...

Read more: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1680671/a-gorgeous-exploration-of-the-new-visual-language-of-sustainability#1
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Do psychological wellbeing and caring for the environment go hand in hand?

Do psychological wellbeing and caring for the environment go hand in hand? | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
What's good for the individual and good for the environment are strikingly similar and can help the world move away from material consumption, writes Charlotte Sankey...

Social and personal psychologists typically list a handful of key actions that can help improve personal wellbeing but would they really stand up to being tested for planet friendliness too?

One of the most respected of such lists is the government's Five ways to wellbeing which came out of research co-ordinated by the New Economics foundation, as part of the Foresight report. The five actions are:

1. connect (with people, not technology)
2. be active
3. take notice
4. keep learning
5. give


Read more : http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/psychological-wellbeing-environment-hand-in-hand
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Shocking, Beautiful Images Highlight Humanity’s Impact On Nature

Shocking, Beautiful Images Highlight Humanity’s Impact On Nature | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Nature’s Toolbox is an art exhibition featuring striking pieces that show how human progress is affecting biodiversity and other parts of nature--from bee death to deforestation.


Despite the dire warnings about what will happen to the planet if we don’t care for it (i.e. quit our gasoline habit and stop emitting so many greenhouse gases), it’s easy to become shortsighted and get sidetracked with daily routines.
 

If words don’t convince you, maybe images will:


Shocking, Beautiful Images Highlight Humanity's Impact On Nature | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation http://bit.ly/Lb8TfP

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Increasing Loss of Biodiversity Comparable to Global Warming in Ecosystem Damage It Will Cause

Increasing Loss of Biodiversity Comparable to Global Warming in Ecosystem Damage It Will Cause | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it

"Loss of biodiversity appears to negatively affect ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution or other major stressors."


Studies done in the past couple of decades have shown that more biologically diverse ecosystems are more productive. They suggest that, as the currently very high levels of extinction continue, they will reduce the ability of ecosystems to provide clean water, food, and a stable climate.


Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/1aNzq)

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Is the future one of abundance or scarcity?

Is the future one of abundance or scarcity? | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
'Abundance' by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler argues that technology brings prosperity. How do their predictions of bounty sit with environmentalists' talk of planetary boundaries?


They argue that, for the first time ever, humankind's capabilities are catching up with our ambitions.


With internet-connected mobile phones increasingly available across the world, we are already entering an age of communication and information abundance.


Read more: Is the future one of abundance or scarcity? | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk http://bit.ly/K0yF5O

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Earth Day 2012: This Isn't About Tree-Hugging Anymore, It's About the Way We Live

Earth Day 2012: This Isn't About Tree-Hugging Anymore, It's About the Way We Live | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it

By Edward Norton:


"I think that every generation is called in different ways to a higher purpose and is forced to realize that the Great Challenge of an era will identify itself; we don't get to choose it..."


My grandparent's generation certainly had other plans when they rose and faced the great battles against fascism and totalitarianism; my parents' generation sacrificed care-free youth to carry the torch of civil rights and social equality.


Earth Day is important because it's about waking up more people to this challenge and committing to engage in it more deeply ourselves.


Read more: Edward Norton: Earth Day 2012: This Isn't About Tree-Hugging Anymore, It's About the Way We Live http://huff.to/Jn5jTK

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Why The World Needs A More Feminine Version Of Success

Why The World Needs A More Feminine Version Of Success | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Before making something new, a smart designer needs to answer a few questions. What is it exactly that we need? Who are the users? What conditions are we designing for? How long do we want it to last?


Our economy is based on domination, not collaboration. If we’re going to stop burning through all our resources, that will need to change.


Read more: Why The World Needs A More Feminine Version Of Success | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation http://bit.ly/IGdh6w

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Biodiversity and farming: finding ways to co-exist

Biodiversity and farming: finding ways to co-exist | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Biodiversity and farming go head to head in two R&D projects that I have a hand in.

We cannot do without agriculture, but the industry must be profitable. By contrast, protecting biodiversity is unlikely to be profit-driven. Can the two ventures be compatible? One aspect of the UWA Future Farm project aims to show that they can be.

Read more: Biodiversity and farming: finding ways to co-exist http://bit.ly/HVpfwC

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Not for bees and pesticides!

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Not for bees and pesticides! | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it


"I like to think that this old saying is true for some things in life: a broken heart, an economic crisis or running a marathon. If you manage to survive and once the pain is gone, you will feel better and stronger than before."


But this is not true for bees and pesticides. Some common pesticides used worldwide and approved on the basis of their safety and low toxicity are actually destroying colonies of bumbles and honey bees.


Insects which – whether you like them or not – play a critical role in the reproduction of many edible plants: not many apples will ripen without the help of bees, for example.


Read more: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Not for bees and pesticides! | Green Pages (Australian Edition) http://bit.ly/HOS5Ph

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Beyond environment: falling back in love with Mother Earth

Beyond environment: falling back in love with Mother Earth | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it
Thich Nhat Hanh explains why mindfulness and a spiritual revolution rather than economics is needed to protect nature and limit climate change...


He believes we need to move beyond talking about the environment, as this leads people to experience themselves and Earth as two separate entities and to see the planet in terms only of what it can do for them.


Change is possible only if there is a recognition that people and planet are ultimately one and the same.


"You carry Mother Earth within you," says Thay. "She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.


Read more: Beyond environment: falling back in love with Mother Earth | Guardian Sustainable Business | guardian.co.uk http://bit.ly/HFbjEg

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"Sustainability" Has Become a Growing Focus of Artists' (and Art Schools') Attention

"Sustainability" Has Become a Growing Focus of Artists' (and Art Schools') Attention | EARTH MATTERS | Scoop.it


"Art that focuses on issues of sustainability doesn't have a certain look, in the way that abstract expressionism or Pop Art is easily and quickly recognized, but rather reflects a series of ideas about the role of art in the environment and in society."


"Sustainable" is the new green. In a world where there is sustainable agriculture (farming that is adjusted to the local ecosystem), sustainable architecture (minimizing environmental impacts of new building) and even sustainable banking (socially responsible investments), we now have sustainable art, or art dealing with environmental issues.


Read more:Daniel Grant: "Sustainability" Has Become a Growing Focus of Artists' (and Art Schools') Attention http://huff.to/IvAzMb

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