For the first time, major companies are adding their voices to the call for a ban on deep-sea mining.
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By Natalie Marchant
- Wood accounts for 10% of yearly waste material in the US.
- The Baltimore Wood Project salvages wood from buildings to repurpose and resell locally to create a circular economy.
- The initiative also has social benefits, by creating job opportunities in a post-industrial city that has an 8.5% unemployment rate.
An initiative in the US city of Baltimore wants to salvage and reuse as much wood as possible, while also creating jobs.
Reducing the City’s Waste<p><span>Wood accounts for more than </span><a href="https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/how-baltimore-urban-wood-project-reclaiming-wood-lives-and-communities" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10% of the annual waste material</a><span> in the US and, in some years, more tree and woody residue has been generated from urban areas than was harvested from national forests, according to the US Forest Service. This waste is costly for businesses that have to pay for its collection and disposal.</span></p><p>Post-industrial Baltimore is a particularly relevant base for the scheme, as it is estimated that there are <a href="http://baltimorewoodproject.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">16,000 empty properties, with some 4,000 of them marked for demolition</a>. Some estimates even put the number of <a href="https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/how-baltimore-urban-wood-project-reclaiming-wood-lives-and-communities" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vacant lots in the city at well over 40,000</a>.</p><p>By reclaiming both freshly-cut wood and that from abandoned properties, the Baltimore Wood Project can reduce waste; provide green materials for construction, furniture making and other sectors; and help restore and reclaim neighborhoods.</p>
Deconstruction Instead of Demolition<p>In addition to its obvious environmental benefits, the project also has valuable economic and social advantages. With a population of nearly 600,000, Baltimore has an <a href="https://www.dllr.state.md.us/lmi/laus/" target="_blank">unemployment rate of 8.5%</a>, compared to a <a href="https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf" target="_blank">nationwide rate of 6.2%</a>.</p><p>The Baltimore Wood Project helps tackle the city's joblessness problem by focusing on deconstruction rather than demolition, arguing that the former <a href="http://baltimorewoodproject.org/" target="_blank">creates six to eight more jobs than the latter</a>.</p><p>This enables those with barriers to employment to gain a valuable skill set and eventually a career, and also helps revitalize the neighborhoods in which they live.</p>
The Benefits of a Circular Economy<p>Wood reclaimed and recycled by the project can be used for sustainable building, furniture and energy, among other uses.</p><p>Indeed, the project is intended to help the city achieve its aim of a sustainable future and serve as a model for creating a circular, self-reinforcing economy in urban areas.</p><p>Globally, it is estimated that transitioning to a circular economy – which promotes the elimination of waste and continual safe use of natural resources – could<a href="https://www.weforum.org/projects/circular-economy" target="_blank"> generate $4.5 trillion in economic benefits by 2030</a>.</p><p>The World Economic Forum is supporting moves towards creating a worldwide circular economy through collaboration on<a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOnfaAAC/the-circulars" target="_blank"> The Circulars Accelerator 2021 program</a>.</p><p>The accelerator is a collaboration with <a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">UpLink</a>, the World Economic Forum's innovation crowdsourcing platform, and is led by professional services company <a href="https://www.accenture.com/gb-en" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Accenture</a> in partnership with <a href="https://www.angloamerican.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Anglo American</a>,<a href="https://en-uk.ecolab.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> Ecolab</a>, and <a href="https://www.se.com/uk/en/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Schneider Electric</a>.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from the </em><em><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/04/baltimore-us-wood-recycling-project/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></p>
Delta-8 THC is a cannabis product that has become a bestseller over the past few months, as many consumers find they can legally purchase it from CBD retailers. Its proponents say that Delta-8 THC will give you a nice little buzz, minus some of the more intense feelings (including paranoia) that are sometimes associated with marijuana.
Delta-8 THC is being marketed as a legal option for consumers who either don't live in a state with legal cannabis, or are a little apprehensive about how traditional psychoactive THC products will affect them. But is it all it's cracked up to be? Let's take a closer look, exploring what Delta-8 THC is, how it differs from other THC products, and whether it's actually legal for use.
nuleafnaturals.com<p><a href="https://nuleafnaturals.com/product/full-spectrum-delta-8-thc-oil-30mg-ml/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Delta 8 THC Oil</a> is made from organic hemp and organic virgin hemp seed extract. It's available in a 150 mg bottle and a 450 mg bottle, which both provide 15 mg of Delta 8 THC per serving. This formula is also available in a soft gel.</p>
botanyfarms.com<p>The <a href="https://www.botanyfarms.com/product/delta-10-thc-vape-cartridge/?aff=14" target="_blank">Botany Farms Delta-10 THC Vape Cartridge</a> actually contains both Delta-10 and Delta-8 THC.This is designed to provide the desired effects of Delta-8 THC but without the drowsiness. They also offer a vape cartridge with a 1:1 concentration of <a href="https://www.botanyfarms.com/product/delta-10-delta-8-thc-vape-cartridge/?aff=14" target="_blank">Delta-8 THC</a> and Delta-10 THC. Note that while vape products can be used to aid in smoking cessation, we do not recommend vaping or smoking because of the negative health effects they can cause.</p>
If you're looking to create a healthier lifestyle through an organic plant-based diet, produce delivery services offer all that you can buy in your local farmer's market from the comfort of your own home. Plus, many of them are a great way to reduce food waste through rescued produce and pantry staples.
The ability to cook more meals at home is an amazing opportunity to ditch a sugar and fat-fueled diet and fuel your body with fruits and vegetables. Here is a curated list of the best produce delivery services available.
By Marianne Dhenin
Many Americans learned to ride bicycles as kids. I still remember zipping around a cul de sac in my neighborhood, shrieking with glee and reveling in my newfound freedom after the training wheels came off. But those who did not have the opportunity to learn to ride during their childhood often face uncertainty or anxiety about learning as adults. Bicycle education programs help those who want to become cyclists overcome that fear while also addressing problems in their communities — from pollution to racial injustice.
Annette Krüger, right, and another #BIKEYGEES coach, left, help a woman balance on a bicycle during a #BIKEYGEES class in Berlin. Deutsche Fernsehlotterie / Jan Ehlers
Ron Durgin, center in a green shirt, and a group of bicyclists prepare for a Sustainable Streets' social ride in Los Angeles. Sustainable Streets
A volunteer helps a participant in a "Learn to Ride – Adult Class" organized by Bike New York for adults learning to ride a bicycle on May 3, 2013 in New York. STAN HONDA / AFP via Getty Images
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Installing solar panels over California's network of water canals could save the state an estimated 63 billion gallons of water and produce 13 gigawatts of renewable power every year, according to a feasibility study published in Nature Sustainability.
Kids are the ones that will be inheriting the world from us. Getting them invested early in protecting the environment will ensure that their curiosity and interest will live on once they become adults.
Figuring out how to introduce the concept of renewable energy to kids can be tricky. The more significant challenge comes down to getting kids interested and excited versus putting them on the receiving end of another lecture.
It will take a bit of planning and creativity, but there are ways to get children interested in renewable energy even at a young age.
By Matthew Gavin Frank
In early 2021, De Beers — the world's biggest diamond company — achieved something of a public relations coup when it announced two new prestige jewelry lines intended to position the notoriously polluting corporation as environmentally friendly and responsible.
Photo: Matthew Gavin Frank
Photo: Matthew Gavin Frank
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Lives around the world are threatened by the climate crisis, but some suffer its effects much more than others.
For example, it is well documented that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. A 2016 report by the United Nations found that women in China, who make up 70 percent of the agricultural workforce, will suffer from environmental change more than men in the country because of fewer employment opportunities and access to income options, Global Citizen reported.
As the gender divide grows more severe as a result of climate change, tracking the progress of sustainable development is increasingly important. But current tracking methods to assess this progress are generally limited to economic terms and monetary values, according to a recent paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
That's why researchers developed a new indicator to track sustainable progress called "years of good life (YoGL)," the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) reported.
YoGL will track overall well-being to assess the success of sustainable development projects and create a form of global "currency" to measure how certain development options are useful for a broad range of populations, beyond just monetary value, the IIASA added.
"Life expectancy has long been used as a very comprehensive indicator of human development, with avoiding premature death being a universally shared aspiration. However, mere survival is not enough to enjoy life and its qualities," Wolfgang Lutz, founding director of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, told the IIASA.
"The Years of Good Life indicator only counts a year as a good year if individuals are simultaneously not living in absolute poverty, free from cognitive and physical limitations, and report to be generally satisfied with their lives."
Researchers say the YoGL tracker can "assess long-term human well-being as the ultimate end of sustainable development." This includes considering the impacts of environmental change, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity, on human well-being.
"If we used YoGL as a currency to measure the long-term impacts of the ongoing crisis rather than GDP per capita or life expectancy, we would not only account for the material losses and the lost life years, but also for the losses in physical and cognitive wellbeing," study coauthor Erich Striessnig added, according to the IIASA.
The tracker could also assess which sustainable development methods work and pinpoint where solutions may be needed the most.
Researchers found that in most developed countries, 20-year-old women are expected to have more than 50 years of a "good life left," but women in the least developed countries could expect less than 15, the IIASA reported. In Yemen, women can expect only 10 YoGL.
Although women are generally expected to live longer lives than men, their YoGL are lower in most developing countries, exposing a gender divide in these countries, according to the IIASA.
For the future, improved data availability is needed for the YoGL tracker to inform decisions on sustainable development, especially in places where there is "a significant gender inequality in objective living conditions and subjective life satisfaction," the authors wrote.
In a recent opinion piece in CNN, Melanne Verveer, the executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security and Jessica Smith, the research and policy manager at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security, wrote that in order to combat the climate crisis, gender inequality must be strongly considered:
"Climate change is an existential threat to all of humanity, but not equally. Because gender inequalities are compounded by racial injustice, climate impacts are even more pronounced for Indigenous women and women from low-income communities and communities of color."
Although women bear the brunt of the climate crisis, they are also often the ones leading the way in developing solutions. For example, Verveer and Smith cite a study that found more elected female leadership leads to more stringent climate policy. "We cannot effectively address the existential threat of climate change, neither at home nor abroad, without the full and meaningful participation of women," they added.
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By Sarah Reinhardt
When it comes to healthy eating, there's a lot we already know.
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By Brent Loken
Natural ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands and oceans, do a pretty good job of storing carbon and supporting biodiversity.
Global carbon sequestration potential for current diets, those recommended by National Dietary Guidelines and others. WWF
Whether for removing makeup, cleansing or applying a moisturizer or toner, many people use cotton pads as part of their skincare routine. However, if you're using them frequently, they can add up to a lot of waste, which is where reusable cotton rounds come in.
These sustainable alternatives to cotton balls, pads, or makeup wipes can be washed and reused over a thousand times, which prevents as many single-use products from ending up in landfills and waterways. Below, see our recommendations for the best reusable cotton rounds and a few more reasons why switching to reusables is worth the investment.
GreenEstateGoods.com<p>The super soft <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Green-Estate-Reusable-Makeup-Remover/dp/B07DWP3NKK" target="_blank">Green Estate Reusable Makeup Remover Pads</a> are designed with a dark side for removing makeup and a light side for applying toner or moisturizer. This way, you won't see stains as easily, making them look newer for longer. Additionally, you don't need to use a facial cleansing product with these. Just wet with warm water, and makeup wipes away, which is great for sensitive skin.</p><p>These microfiber reusable cotton rounds come in packs of 14, and with each purchase Green Estate <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/arbor-day-home-tree-planting-2645738593.html" target="_self">plants a tree</a> through partner Eden Reforestation Projects. To date, the company has planted more than 55,000 trees, which has provided over 550 days of reliable work for people living in extreme poverty.</p><p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>4.7 out of 5 stars with almost 4,000 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Machine washable; Includes zippered pouch for washing; Tree planted for every purchase; Plastic-free shipping when purchased from manufacturer</p>
PaulasChoice.com<p>If you're looking for a basic option, try <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Paulas-Choice-Reusable-Eco-Friendly-Exfoliants/dp/B08P41JQF4" target="_blank">Paula's Choice Reusable Makeup Remover Pads</a>, which are made from a 70% bamboo/30% cotton material. Paula's Choice is a Leaping Bunny-certified, 100% cruelty-free skincare brand that works with Terracycle® to recycle its bottles, tubes and other containers after you run out of product.</p><p>Many brands include a drawstring cotton laundry bag for <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/laundry-clothes-plastic-pollution-oceans-2646168554.html" target="_self">washing and drying</a>, but based on our experience, even when the strings are knotted, these can still open and allow the rounds to escape. We like that the Paula's Choice 10-count reusable cotton rounds come with a zippered pouch, which is less likely to open up in the laundry.</p><p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>4.7 out of 5 stars with over 10 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Machine washable; Leaping Bunny-certified brand; Includes zippered pouch for washing
LastObject.com<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/LastRound-Reusable-Cotton-Pads-alternative/dp/B08KNH6W1K" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">LastRound Reusable Cotton Pads</a> divert waste from entering landfills and waterways in more ways than one. Aside from having an average lifespan of 1,750 uses, the production of the pads and convenient case utilizes cotton and plastic that would otherwise be trashed.</p><p>The textured pads are made from a blend of 70% Scandinavian wood fibers (locally sourced by the Denmark-based company) and 30% cotton fibers that are too short to be used in standard textiles. There are two versions of the case that holds seven pads — one is made from <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/plant-based-diets-sustainability-2650610434.html" target="_self">plant-based</a> materials and the other is made from <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/face-masks-recycled-ocean-plastic-2645813326.html" target="_self">recycled ocean-bound plastic</a> in collaboration with ReSea Project.</p><p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>5 out of 5 stars with almost 10 Amazon reviews</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> Machine washable; Case made from plant-based material or recycled ocean-bound plastic; Plastic-free packaging</p>
MarleysMonsters.com<p>Marley's Monsters made a name for itself with its <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Marleys-Monsters-Reusable-UNpaper-Handmade/dp/B08KWPPHZ5/ref=pd_vtp_3?pd_rd_w=5NXTA&pf_rd_p=6f2e6f76-fb8a-492e-b0f6-a03aecd27de3&pf_rd_r=JY7BES8XYN03XN59DWYQ&pd_rd_r=345d9cc6-8a39-4d56-a424-6dcbadaa40e4&pd_rd_wg=Q95KE&pd_rd_i=B08KWPPHZ5&psc=1" target="_blank">UNpaper® towels</a>, which take the place of traditional paper towels, and it's since branched out into other home and beauty products. The company's 20-packs of <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Marleys-Monsters-Reusable-Handmade-Surprise/dp/B08L3YHKFQ" target="_blank">Reusable Facial Rounds</a> are handmade in Eugene, Oregon, with two layers of 100% cotton flannel for durability and long-term use.</p><p>One thing we like about Marley's Monsters is its commitment to <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/food-system-quotes-2646432719.html" target="_self">local sustainability</a>. It's BRING rethink-certified, a designation given by a nonprofit recycling company in Eugene to companies that practice conservation in the realms of materials and waste, energy, water and supply chain management. Marley's Monsters also won the 2021 Bold Steps Award, which recognizes eco-friendly Eugene-based businesses.</p><p><strong>Customer rating: </strong>4.6 out of 5 stars with almost 10 Amazon reviews</p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Handmade; Machine washable; BRING rethink-certified; Includes mesh drawstring pouch for washing; Recyclable and compostable shipping when purchased from manufacturer
By Jack McGovan
In 1931, Soviet scientists were on the hunt for a natural source of rubber that would help the USSR become self-sufficient in key materials.
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