Zero Footprint
2.1K views | +0 today
Follow
Zero Footprint
We absolutely can reduce the ecological footprint of humanity all the way down to zero!
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Tasmania aims for 100% renewables by 2020, 35% carbon cuts : Renew Economy

Tasmania aims for 100% renewables by 2020, 35% carbon cuts : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Tasmanian charges ahead of mainland Australia with new plan to reach 100% renewables by 2020, and to cut emissions by 35%.

 

The government this week released its Climate Smart Tasmania: A 2020 Climate Change Strategy. “It’s the most comprehensive plan by any Australian Government to reduce carbon emissions and help communities adapt to a changing climate, built on more than a year of careful research and consultation,” Cassy O’Connor, the Tasmanian Climate Change Minister, said.

 

She noted it was in vast contrast to the actions of the Tony Abbott government, which has abandoned the country’s long-held emissions reduction target, started working on repealing the carbon price, and destroyed our international standing at U.N. talks in Warsaw.

 

“With a climate denialist government in Canberra determined to wind back Australia’s efforts to reduce emissions, it’s more important than ever that Tasmania shows leadership. We’re already making great progress,” O’Connor said.

 

A large part of the plan is to stop importing coal-fired power from mainland Australia, which constituted 15 per cent of total energy use in 2007. Tasmania has also set a goal to reduce emissions by 60 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Those who deny climate change and refuse to reduce their carbon emissions are effectively stealing from those who are making the investment in moving us toward 100% renewable energy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

08 A community goes 100% renewable

We took a trip to one of the country's numerous 100% Renewable Villages, which are increasingly covering all of their electricity and heat demand from local renewables and becoming exporters to neighboring cities.

 

[Part of a series of videos on the Energiewende at http://welcometotheenergiewende.blogspot.de/]

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Everyone who goes 100% renewable helps everyone else eventually reach that goal.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Graph of the Day: Major industrial carbon producers : Renew Economy

Graph of the Day: Major industrial carbon producers : Renew Economy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Who is responsible for climate change? New study identifies the top 90 producers of industrial carbon emissions

 

The responsibilities for climate change fall on many shoulders, of course — from individuals through the daily choices we make, to emitting industries, to nations. But some are more responsible than others. Drawing upon several years of painstaking research, Heede shows that nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of all industrial carbon dioxide and methane released to the atmosphere can be traced to fossil fuel and cement production by just 90 entities — investor-owned companies, such as Chevron and Exxon-Mobil; primarily state-run companies, such as Gazprom and Saudi Aramco; and solely government-run industries, such as in the former Soviet Union and China (for its coal production).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Separating Fact from Fiction In Accounts of Germany’s Renewables Revolution

Separating Fact from Fiction In Accounts of Germany’s Renewables Revolution | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Germany’s renewables revolution is in fact highly successful and strong as ever, but that hasn’t stopped three myths from gaining traction in the media. Amory Lovins takes a look.

 

1) Germany’s supposed turn back to coal,

2) how renewables [supposedly] undermine grid reliability, and

3) how renewables subsidies are [supposedly] cratering the German economy. 

Germany’s Energiewende is a bold, challenging, and complex experiment. Its inevitable imperfections need, and get, recognition and correction. On the whole, it has been highly successful so far and is on track for its seemingly ambitious goals—renewable electricity rising to 35 percent of consumption by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, primary consumption falling respectively to 20 and 50 percent below 2008 levels, and CO2 emissions falling to 30 and 80 percent below 1990 levels. In fact, Germany could even surprise the world by going even further and faster.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We must all go much further and much faster than Germany's current plans, and we will be able make significant progress once the power and influence of the fossil fuel industry is sufficiently undermined that switching over to 100% renewable energy becomes more obviously the correct path for everyone.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

UMD Leads 1st Local-to-Global Mapping of Forest

UMD Leads 1st Local-to-Global Mapping of Forest | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

A University of Maryland-led, multi-organizational team has created the first high-resolution global map of forest extent, loss and gain. This free resource greatly improves the ability to understand human and naturally-induced forest changes and the local to global implications of these changes on environmental, economic and other natural and societal systems, members of the team say.


"This is the first map of forest change that is globally consistent and locally relevant," says University of Maryland Professor of Geographical Sciences Matthew Hansen, team leader and corresponding author on the Science paper.

 

"Losses or gains in forest cover shape many important aspects of an ecosystem, including climate regulation, carbon storage, biodiversity and water supplies, but until now there has not been a way to get detailed, accurate, satellite-based and readily available data on forest cover change from local to global scales," Hansen says.


Hansen and colleagues say the global data sets of forest change they have created contain information that can provide a "transparent, sound and consistent basis to quantify critical environmental issues," including the causes of the mapped changes in the amount of forest; the status of world's remaining intact natural forests; biodiversity threats from changes in forest cover; the carbon stored or emitted as a result of gains or losses in tree cover in both managed and unmanaged forests; and the effects of efforts to halt or reduce forest loss.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

The Circular Economy

Ellen takes us on a journey to investigates how insights from living systems might offer some of the answers to how we can re-design our future, in a world of increasing finite materials and energy.

Find out more about the circular economy at  http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org

Follow the Ellen MacArthur Foundation on Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/made2bmadeagain

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

The focus here is on 100% recycling. Because it is not enough to merely use a little less and cause a little less harm.  We need to close the loop by elimimating what we call "waste" and reducing our harm all the way down to 0.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

A Net Zero Win For Cambridge, Mass., Activists | EarthTechling

A Net Zero Win For Cambridge, Mass., Activists | EarthTechling | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
After a vigorous petition campaign by activists, Cambridge, Mass., agrees to explore ways to make the city net zero.

 

Going carbon neutral isn’t easy, but it is fairly straight-forward: It means sourcing power from renewable energy projects and filling out any gaps with the purchase of renewable energy certificates.


Net zero, by contrast, is about what’s happening at the building level. That puts the onus on developers, and puts a premium on tracking and reporting how buildings function. Here’s how Net Zero Cambridge described the proposal it wants the city to adopt:

 

Our proposal restricts the use of fossil-fuel based energy in new developments (greater than 25,000 sq. ft.) by requiring greenhouse gas mitigation plans and periodic reporting of energy usage.  To reach the net zero standard, developers may take advantage of design efficiencies, on-site generation of power, and off-site purchases of renewable energy over the grid. All of these steps have been shown to be feasible and economically viable right here in Cambridge.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Cambridge is just one city, within a much larger metro region, one among many around the world.  But this place is one I know personally, and it is exciting to see this kind of action taking place locally, to be even a small part of it.  I hope it will encourage similar actions in every other city that is not already moving forward with all due haste toward the goal of Zero Footprint.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Letterman Interviews Stanford Professor About U.S. Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy

Letterman Interviews Stanford Professor About U.S. Transitioning to 100% Renewable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The good news is that by switching from an energy grid that is supported primarily by using fossil fuels (those which pollute not just our air, but also our soil and oceans) to one based on wind, water and solar power, we can not only sustain our current energy needs, but change the quality of our air, water and soil, while utilizing 100% sustainable and renewable forms of energy.


Letterman asks an important question of Jacobson, “How do we motivate the fossil fuel people – the gas, and oil people of this country to stop what they are doing – thanks guys we’ve had enough – and start allowing technology development for sustainable energy?” Letterman said, “they aren’t going to give up this multi-billion dollar industry.”


Jacobson agreed and argued that policies need to be put into place that support the welfare of citizen’s health and sustainable energy, instead of those which currently support Big Oil and Big Gas companies.


"Everything will be OK if we collectively put our mind to it.  There is no technological or economic limitation to solving these problems.  It's a social and political issue primarily."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Earth Blog: ESSAY: Ecology Is the Meaning of Life

Earth Blog: ESSAY: Ecology Is the Meaning of Life | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Ultimately, all humanity and all life have is the biosphere, the thin layer of life just above and below Earth’s surface, composed of ancient, miraculously evolved natural ecosystems. The natural Earth is a marvel – a complex coupling of species within ecosystems, whereby life begets life.

Ecology is far more than the study of life and its environment. The word is used here as a synonym for ecosystems – the vibrant connections that emerge between species across scales, which cumulatively make life on Earth possible.

 

Ecosystem Collapse

 

Humankind’s demand for resources and growth overwhelms nature, our steady diminishment of ecosystems abruptly changes climate, and this is collapsing the biosphere. Global ecosystems – water, air, food, forests, oceans, wetlands, and more – are collapsing and dying under the burden of human industrial and population growth.

 

Sustainability Solutions Exist

 

Workable solutions to climate change and broad-based environmental decline exist; they include ending fossil fuels, protecting and restoring ecosystems, agro-ecological food production, reducing population and inequity, and establishing a steady state economy. Plainly, however, such a transition is not going to be easy. Solutions to avert global ecosystem collapse will be disruptive. Yet there is no alternative if together humanity is to survive and enjoy well-being within Earth’s ecological boundaries.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Great article, but I need to remind readers that our problems are *not* caused population growth, since the growing parts of the world are causing only a small fraction of our problems, while the stable parts, in the so-called developed countries, are consuming and polluting like crazy.  No sense in blaming anyone but ourselves.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

The Big Question: Can Countries Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy?

The Big Question: Can Countries Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy? | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
Several countries, including Scotland and the Philippines, have recently announced impressive plans to obtain all of their power from renewable energy.

 

What are the major barriers that countries face in order to reach 100 percent renewable energy — is this goal always achievable or desirable?

 

 

 

CLIFF GOUDEY 
October 18, 2013Kevin Smith says, "Thus, 100 percent renewable goals will not be the best solution." 

Geoff Kinsey says, "An approach that focuses on high penetration (greater than 50 percent) of renewables will provide a more effective path to a sustainable energy future." 

John Deasey says, "the 100 percent targets of countries such as Scotland and the Philippines tend to look like well-meant pipedreams." 

Tony Clifford says, "Getting to 100 percent renewables is certainly a laudable goal, but political leaders should plot a course that makes economic sense." 

How collectively uninspirational. The question isn't can we reach 100% rather it's when will we reach 100% and how painful will that inevitable transition be. Clearly that pain will vary with location. Some countries are blessed with abundant renewable resources and already have the political will to make the transition early. Those countries will be the winners. Others, such as the US, are similarly blessed with ample renewable resources but lack the resolve to act effectively due to the excessive political influence of those profiting from the status quo. They will learn form the winners and soon catch up. Finally there are those without adequate renewable resources to make the transition and they will continue to be dependent on imported energy and will end up as the the economic losers. It is from these pockets of unfortunate circumstances that the transition will turn chaotic if it is left purely to the marketplace.
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Great question, but the industry executives quoted in the article are, as commentor Cliff Goudey says, "collectively uninspirational".

 

I say, Of course we can reach 100% renewable energy.  But by "can" I am thinking that technically, there is nothing stopping us except our ability to do it fast enough. Economically as well, going renewable is now a better deal than not.  Politically, we will have to contend with powerful but lethargic industries and governments that continue to benefit from sticking with what made them what they are today.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

50 ideas for sustainable cities

50 ideas for sustainable cities | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Since May 2012, ten Fraunhofer Institutes and numerous industrial, commercial and municipal partners have been working together to develop concepts for clean, efficient and life-enhancing urban environments.  Having analyzed six cities identified as global trendsetters for systemic urban solutions, the Morgenstadt: City Insights innovation network now presents over 100 best practices for sustainable urban development.

 

Cities are the key to a sustainable future. The political and economic foundations we lay today will determine the quality of tomorrow's ecosystems and the extent to which we will be able to safeguard and protect our global resources in future.

 

http://www.morgenstadt.de/en/morgenstadt-cityinsights1.html

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

No Safe Havens in Increasingly Acid Oceans

No Safe Havens in Increasingly Acid Oceans | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Oil, gas and coal are contaminating the world’s oceans from top to bottom, threatening the lives of more than 800 million people, a new study warns Tuesday.

 

The study found that carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels are overheating the oceans, turning them acidic and reducing the amount of oxygen in seawater. This is happening too fast for most marine species to adapt and ocean ecosystems around the world will collapse.


This ambitious study examined all the available research on how current and future carbon emissions are fundamentally altering the oceans. It then looked at how this will impact fish, corals, marine animals, plants and other organisms. Finally the 29 authors from 10 countries analyzed how this will affect the 1.4 to 2.0 billion people who live near the oceans or depend on them for their food and income.


More shocking is that the oceans will be dramatically altered even with reduced growth in use of fossil fuel in coming decades and major declines starting in 2050, he said.

 

Only an abrupt decline in consumption of oil, gas, and coal within the next 10 years will minimize the impacts on the oceans.


more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from Sustainable Design & Development
Scoop.it!

Enough wind to power global energy demand: New research examines limits, climate consequences

Enough wind to power global energy demand: New research examines limits, climate consequences | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
There is enough energy available in winds to meet all of the world's demand. Atmospheric turbines that convert steadier and faster high-altitude winds into energy could generate even more power than ground- and ocean-based units.

 

Using models, the team was able to determine that more than 400 terawatts of power could be extracted from surface winds and more than 1,800 terawatts could be generated by winds extracted throughout the atmosphere.

 

Today, civilization uses about 18 TW of power. Near-surface winds could provide more than 20 times today's global power demand and wind turbines on kites could potentially capture 100 times the current global power demand.

 

At maximum levels of power extraction, there would be substantial climate effects to wind harvesting. But the study found that the climate effects of extracting wind energy at the level of current global demand would be small, as long as the turbines were spread out and not clustered in just a few regions. At the level of global energy demand, wind turbines might affect surface temperatures by about 0.1 degree Celsius and affect precipitation by about 1%. Overall, the environmental impacts would not be substantial.


Via Rena Brar Prayaga
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

There is way more wind energy than we need, and that is just wind energy.  If only we had avoided all the fossil fuel burning starting a couple hundred years ago, the world would be a very different place now, very much better I am sure.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Where Do Trees Get Their Mass From?

Trees can weigh hundreds or even thousands of tons, but where do they get this mass from? A few common answers are: the soil, water, and sunlight. But the truth is the vast majority of a dry tree's mass comes from the air - it originated as carbon dioxide.

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It is interesting that most people seem to miss this essential fact, that most of the dry mass of plants, trees in particular, comes from carbon dioxide.  

 

Therefore, if we add any more carbon to the atmosphere from other sources, say by burning fossil fuels, this must be balanced by storing that much more carbon in more plants, or by sequestered more carbon in other ways.  Otherwise the excess carbon stays in the atmosphere, adding to the largest contributor of global warming.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Invest, Divest: Renewable Investment To Hit $630 Billion A Year In 2030, Fossil Fuel Stocks At Risk Today

Invest, Divest: Renewable Investment To Hit $630 Billion A Year In 2030, Fossil Fuel Stocks At Risk Today | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

It's no longer [just] enviros saying the days of fossil fuel are numbered.

 

Bloomberg New Energy Finance has a must-read piece for investors on how the smart money is beginning to notice the quicksand on which fossil fuel stock prices are built.


“By 2030, the growth in fossil fuel use will almost have stopped,” Liebreich told renewable-energy investors…. “We’re told that it needs to happen by 2020” in order to prevent irreversible climate damage. “That won’t happen. But by 2030, it pretty much will.”


The risk: Oil and coal companies worth more than $7 trillion may be sinking billions of dollars today into projects that will never make sense to finish.


Divesting from fossil fuels isn’t risky. Not divesting is.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

We certainly could go faster.  It makes no sense, from a long-term economic viewpoint, to invest anything more in fossil fuels *now* when the same investments, and more, should instead be put into renewable energy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Chevron, Exxon and BP among companies most responsible for climate change since dawn of industrial age, figures show.

 

The analysis found that the vast majority of the firms were in the business of producing oil, gas or coal, found the analysis, whichhas been published in the journal Climatic Change.

 

Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years – well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change.

 

Many of the same companies are also sitting on substantial reserves of fossil fuel which – if they are burned – puts the world at even greater risk of dangerous climate change.

 

Climate change experts said the data set was the most ambitious effort so far to hold individual carbon producers, rather than governments, to account.

 

Michael Mann, the climate scientist, said he hoped the list would bring greater scrutiny to oil and coal companies' deployment of their remaining reserves. "What I think could be a game changer here is the potential for clearly fingerprinting the sources of those future emissions," he said. "It increases the accountability for fossil fuel burning. You can't burn fossil fuels without the rest of the world knowing about it."

Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

These companies are actually more powerful than the governments, while taking far less responsibility than they should, blaming, instead, the consumers for continuing to 'demand' cheap products.  Simply requiring (by law) full payment for all the externalities and using that revenue to undo the environmental damage would quickly change the equation to favor clean renewable energy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Small planet, big appetites: How to feed a growing world

Small planet, big appetites: How to feed a growing world | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
"Consumed" author Sarah Elton wants a food system that will allow us to do more than survive. Here, she lays out how farming can make the environment, and the people in it, thrive.

 

Sarah Elton:

 

When you look at the facts, the status quo is just not sustainable. The way we produce food today drains ground water aquifers. It pollutes surface water, ground water, and oceans with chemical and fertilizer runoff. Over the last 100 years, it has diminished biodiversity dramatically. And the food system today is deeply reliant on fossil fuels — while also producing so many greenhouse gas emissions (think industrial livestock production that is responsible for 14-18 percent of emissions — estimates vary).

 

A system like this simply cannot be called sustainable if it is destroying the very things — like clean water, healthy soil, biodiversity — it needs to keep producing food for our kids and their grandkids. Not to mention worsening climate change.

 

What’s the alternative? Agriculture that nurtures biodiversity from the bees to the seeds to the nematodes in the soil, conserves water, manages nutrients in fertilizer responsibly, that sequesters carbon. When I traveled around the world researching this book, I found that these signposts of sustainability were more likely to be found on small farms, practicing sustainable — organic — agriculture. Also, if you look at the science, organic soils are more able to sequester carbon as well as more resilient to the extreme weather events that scientists say will become increasingly common with climate change.

 

Farmers who practice this kind of agriculture were typically part of this global sustainable food movement that I write about in the book. And what was really interesting to see was that people who were farming in this way tended to be improving their fortunes — not getting poorer or hungrier. So this is true sustainability when it stretches from environmental sustainability to economic sustainability for farmers.

"

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Global Reef Project Documents The World's Threatened Coral Reefs [PHOTOS/VIDEO] | PlanetSave

Global Reef Project Documents The World's Threatened Coral Reefs [PHOTOS/VIDEO] | PlanetSave | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

The survey is being called “the world’s largest stock-taking of corals in history” and it is as much about science and conservation as it is about the appreciation of the wonders of Nature. The survey will serve as an invaluable resource for both scientists and conservation groups in the years to come as these productive sites are further impacted by climate change and human industrial activity and pollution.

 

According to the website:

‘The Catlin Global Reef Record is a research tool aimed at collating and communicating the coral reef science of the Catlin Seaview Survey and combining that information with data from other leading sources of ocean research. This free database will provide scientists across various disciplines of marine studies with a tool for analyzing the current state of the reef ecosystems on a local, regional and global scale and monitoring changes that occur over time.’

 

 

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from sustainability
Scoop.it!

The World Isn’t Keeping Up With The Need To Invest In Sustainable Energy

The World Isn’t Keeping Up With The Need To Invest In Sustainable Energy | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

When it comes to investing in a future of clean and sustainable energy, the world is rapidly falling behind.

 

Global investment plateaued at roughly $360 billion in 2012, despite a need for almost twice that amount per year.


According to estimates by the U.N., another $48 billion will be needed on top of [roughly $625 billion per year] every year until 2030 to bring global energy access. That would move the world towards a sustainable energy economy while reducing global energy poverty at the same time — two goals that are often in structural tension.


With their greater wealth and much lower poverty, developed countries bare the majority of the responsibility to sacrifice to combat climate change.


Other good news from the CPI report was the discovery that we’re getting more bang for our buck out of renewable investments, probably due to improved economies of scale and lower technology costs. 



Via UIWGroup
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

Investing in renewable energy shouldn't be viewed as a "sacrifice" because, actually, NOT investing in renewable energy is the real sacrifice.

more...
UIWGroup's curator insight, October 22, 2013 5:31 PM

There is appoximately 1,000,000 homes in Australia that PV or solar hot water. It is about us all be part the change as we move toward creating a truly sustainable world

Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Researcher is optimistic about meeting 'Grand Challenge' of global prosperity | Science Codex

Researcher is optimistic about meeting 'Grand Challenge' of global prosperity | Science Codex | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
ITHACA, N.Y. – With ecological viability threatened, world resources draining, population burgeoning and despair running rampant, the end is nigh. Or not, says Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences.

 

"In spite of our apparent environmental problems, we stand a remarkable chance of achieving solutions," he says. "Societies all around the world are living longer. We have more access to food, clean water and energy… and we've never been more healthy."


Meeting the Grand Challenge would require energy production of 50 terawatts today and 75 terawatts 100 years from now, ideally all from zero carbon energy sources, says Cathles. Growing from 15 to 75 terawatts over a century requires a growth rate of 1.6 percent per year, which is modest, he says.

 

The lion's share of the power expansion could be met by wind, solar power produced in deserts or nuclear; but by far the least environmentally intrusive, feasible and realistic option is nuclear, he says. The oceans have enough dissolved uranium to sustain 10.5 billion people at a European standard for more than 100 centuries, and the extraction footprint would be tiny.

 

"Everything is possible with energy, nothing is possible without it," says Cathles.

 

(Note: The full paper is available for download online here.)

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from #Sustainability
Scoop.it!

Steve Howard: Let's go all-in on selling sustainability | Video on TED.com

"Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.  It's about what we do right here, right now, and for the rest of our working lives."

 

"We [Ikea] have a sustainability strategy called People and Planet Positive, to help guide our business, to have a positive impact on the world.  Why would we not want to have a positive impact on the world?"

 

"We know, from asking people, from China to the U.S., the vast majority of people care about sustainability, after the day to day issues." "But they want it to be easy, affordable, and attractive. And they expect business to help, and they're a little bit disappointed today." 

 

"Obviously, there's fantastic opportunities with recycled materials, and we can, and we will, go zero waste."

 

"People sometimes think that 100% targets are going to be hard.  Actually, in fact, 100% is easier to do than 90% or 50%.  If you have a 90% target, everyone in the business finds a reason to be in the 10%.  When it's 100%, it's kind of clear."

 

"Together we can help create a sustainable world, and if we get it right, we can make sustainability affordable for the many people, not a luxury for the few."


Via Organic Social Media
more...
Organic Social Media's curator insight, October 23, 2013 10:44 AM

Lets make beautiful, functional, affordable, #sustainable  products 

Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Natural Gas Won't Decrease Our Carbon Footprint | News & Notes, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com

Natural Gas Won't Decrease Our Carbon Footprint | News & Notes, What Matters Today | BillMoyers.com | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

Shale gas proponents argue that it’s clean, cheap and abundantly available here at home — three benefits no other single fossil fuel shares. But a new report from Stanford’s Energy Modeling Forum finds that burning more natural gas wouldn’t do much to decrease North America’s carbon footprint.


This figure shows ten models for how increased production of shale gas will affect North American emissions. Light blue bars show a scenario in which shale production is low. Dark blue bars show a scenario in which shale production is high. Green bars show a scenario in which politicians implement some sort of carbon tax in 2013 that costs at most $25 per tonne of CO2 in 2013 but increases incrementally to $75 per tonne in 2035.


Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

So the fossil fuel industry may make more money by fracking and burning natural gas rather than mining and burning coal, but it is still burning carbon fuel, and dumping CO2 into the atmosphere.  

 

The only way for life on planet earth to benefit is to pay the true and complete cost of removing the CO2 emissions from the atmosphere, and eventually, as soon as possible, stop burning fossil fuels entirely.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

What You Can Do to Protect Biodiversity – State of the Planet

What You Can Do to Protect Biodiversity – State of the Planet | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it
What can we as individuals do to help slow the loss of biodiversity? Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume.

 

Biodiversity—the variety of all living organisms including ecosystems, plants, animals, their habitats and genes—is fundamental to life on Earth. We need biodiversity for its invaluable ecosystem services, providing oxygen, food, clean water, fertile soil, medicines, shelter, protection from storms and floods, a stable climate and recreation. Tragically, today biodiversity is disappearing at 1,000 times the normal ratedue to human civilization. Individual species are being obliterated by habitat loss and degradation, invasive species, the spread of pollution and disease, climate change and the over exploitation of resources.


What can we as individuals do to help slow the loss of biodiversity?  Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume. We need to leverage our purchasing power to help protect biodiversity by consuming products that do not harm the environment.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Daniel LaLiberte
Scoop.it!

Zero Net Energy Households

Zero Net Energy Households | Zero Footprint | Scoop.it

A "zero net" home is a household with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually -- essentially, the idea of a zero net home is a building with a virtually invisible carbon footprint. As renewable and clean energy sources become more affordable and accessible to everyday homeowners, we should hopefully see an increase in both zero net homes, and homes that consume slightly more energy than they produce, commonly called "near-zero energy buildings" or "ultra-low energy houses". Carbon emissions have been dropping a little in recent years, but humanity still has a long way to go, and more zero net and ultra-low energy households offer a possible next step.


Beyond merely reducing carbon emissions, zero net energy buildings would also effectively reduce (and one day help eliminate) our dependence on fossil fuels; traditional buildings consume 40% of the total fossil fuel energy in the US and Europe and are significant contributors of greenhouse gases. Although they are still rare, zero net homes are not as far-fetched as one might think — and they might even be a necessity in the near future.



Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

It's not that every home has to be a "zero net" home, but the more that are, the easier it will be to achieve Zero Footprint across all our homes and businesses.  Generally, we have to eliminate all fossil fuel burning, and generate more renewable energy than we need.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Daniel LaLiberte from Sustainable Design & Development
Scoop.it!

The Edible City | American Society of Landscape Architects (VIDEO)

Watch an animation that shows how to turn a conventional community into an edible city. Learn how to transform unproductive spaces into agricultural landscapes that help fight obesity and reduce food deserts.

Via Rena Brar Prayaga
Daniel LaLiberte's insight:

An important part of the solution to unsustainable agriculture is growing food where people live, converting urban deserts into living land that can hold on to the water, build carbon-sequestering soil, and provide a large fraction of our food needs.

more...
No comment yet.