Posts Tagged ‘failure’

Environmental News : : Is TOMS shoes

Is TOMS Shoes a failure?

Yes, we all love them. Yes, we all love the ‘one for one’ scheme. No, you cannot wear them with socks! TOMS shoes have become more popular than sliced bread, but is the one-for-one scheme that hooked us all bringing the demise of the company? Many people have started to agree that simply donating a pair of (let’s be honest, flimsy) shoes does not solve the poverty, health or education issues that encapsulate these lower economically developed countries.

Cheryl Davenport of Mission Measurement argues that TOMS does not help these countries economically, but rather makes consumers feel “morally superior”. Instead of figuring out a long term solution, we the consumers have been tricked into thinking we have immediately solved these countries problems by buying an overpriced piece of fabric. Don’t get me wrong, children walking around barefoot is not ok, however, the mindset that we have made enough of a difference with out purchase is wrong.

We all thought TOMS would be special at the beginning, providing those in need with a beneficial service. Doing all this with locally sourced materials but also creating jobs and building small businesses. However, most shoemakers have lost their jobs in these affected countries.

It’s certainly a controversial point of view, given all the good that TOMS have achieved since their opening in 2006. You just have to ask yourself, how good should I really feel about buying these shoes?

Town in Germany generates 100% of its energy form renewable resources

It’s no secret to most of you how often I rave about Germany and the sustainable milestones then continue to set. After the Fukushima disaster, Germany agreed to invest heavily in sustainable energy, wary of a similar disaster. In February of 2013, the dream became a reality as the small town of Feldheim (60km from Berlin) now runs off 100% sustainable energy.

Whilst the town is small in size (150 inhabitants), it is large in optimism. In 2010, all residents chipped €3,000 to build their own power grid. The end result? Residents now pay 30% less on their energy bills.

Not only are there more wind turbines than houses but also, a €1.7 million biogas facility was built in 2007 that converts pig manure and unused corn into energy. This lowers their heating costs by a further 10%. Do not let the small size of this town mislead you, this would be more than capable of pulling off at a larger scale. Feldheim have simply shown us what kind of a future we can have should all people believe in this goal.

India set to install 40,000 solar panels and save $1 million per year

Anantapur District solar power, India solar power, solar project India, solar panels, India renewable energy sources, clean energy, India carbon emissions

The southern Indian district, Anantapur, is set to link 40,000 solar panels to their power grid that will power street lighting and water pumping facilities. These will be spread over 10,000 acres of barren land and are set to reduce greenhouse emissions by 180,000 tons during their 25 year life span. They are also the first to use Abound Solar Cadmium Telluride, the new type of thin solar panel that are most cost effective to produce.

The total energy savings will amount to over $1 million every year, a worthy investment to say the least. The project itself will cost around $11 million, making the recovery cost to take around a decade.

New York Mayor signs green bill that addresses climate change into the law

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to turn the Big Apple into a beautiful green Granny Smith Apple as his third term comes to a close. He recently signed 3 green bills that involve combatting climate change along with providing more green space and eco-education to the residents.

After Hurricane Sandy, one of these laws is understandably the production of a stormwater resistant plant. Another law involves the National Park’s having to redesign their layout to include as many diverse species as possible whilst also creating new green spaces. The mayor’s advises stressed that soil acts as a terrific sponge against stormwater. Finally, a renewable energy web-portal has been authorised.

It is unfortunate that it took a natural disaster to spark this environmental attention, however there will no doubt be an increase of ‘environmentalists’ now in NYC. Using Hurricane Sandy as motivation for a greener future is a good move. I’m sure all residents do not want a repeat and are willing to do what is necessary to confirm a brighter future.

I leave you with

10 easy ways to save money by going green
The best eco friendly food for vegetarians
The bed your children wanted for christmas

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Rio+20 Summit was a failure.

The World Wildlife Fund has called the RIO+20 Summit a “colossal failure of leadership and vision.” Many people would agree with this. 86 world leaders will have signed a 50 page document (available to see online) that provides no new commitments to fighting climate change. The last decade has seen a surge of community activity with recycling and energy efficient home-ware. This Summit was a chance for the World Leaders to recognise that effort and match it with their own.

There is no new Kyoto Protocol.
There is no solution.
There is no care.

The Summit cannot be seen as just a failure. It was also a betrayal to the people that are attempting to preserve what is left of this planet. The issues that were meant to be addressed; poisoning of the air, emptying of the seas, filth and wastage of our water, exhaustion of the soils, vanishing of the trees, degradation and forced misery of people. Not a single proposition or sign of intent as to how we will handle these issues. There may not be another Earth Summit because any one of these issues may have killed us in another 10 years. Rio, where it all looked so promising in 1992, may have been our last chance for preservation in 2012.

America snubbed the Kyoto Protocol back in 1992 and also refused to stop oil drilling after asked in 2002. In 2012, America did not even show up to the conference. They were joined by Germany and the UK in their pathetic absence. The last 20 years have been a complete waste. The only progress that has been made is by respective communities. Single people making simple actions that amount to a big change when other people join in. The world will not be saved by politics, by world bodies, by “leaders”. They have shown us that. I plead to you reading, it really is up to you now. Have a greener mind about your day to day business. Turn lights off, don’t use plastic bags or cups, buy fuel efficient cars, wear a jumper – don’t turn the heating up.    (That American flag is surrounded by oil, do you see the irony?)

A little bit goes a long way, as long as we all do our part.

In contrast to the absence’s of world leader’s from the Summit, Multinational Corporations were very well represented. In this bid to attract more corporate stakeholders, many are questioning if the UN Summit has become less about the future of the earth and more about the future of corporate profits.

It’s the same story I, like many people, have been talking about for a while. There is no environmental/economic balance. The world is consumed and driven by money. Maybe we environmentalist’s were just being optimistic about 2012 providing help to the movement.

There is nothing else to say. It’s simply down to you and everyone else.

HELP SAVE YOUR PLANET TODAY.