Posts Tagged ‘shoes’

Environmental News : : Los Angeles Going Green

TOMS Shoes are preventing HIV

 Charlize Theron, TOMS, TOMS Shoes, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, fashion philanthropy, HIV, AIDS, Africa, Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, eco-friendly shoes, sustainable shoes, eco-friendly celebrities, eco-celebs, green celebrities

It just had to happen. Last week I voiced my opinion that TOMS was inherently flawed and that they were not helping fix world issues. With the help of actress Charlize Theron, TOMS is unveiling a new limited edition shoe that funds the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, a non-profit charity that helps protect youth’s against HIV. Unfortunately, the shoes only come in women and child sizes. This hasn’t stopped me from wearing women’s clothes before though.

Theron says, “The relationship I have with TOMS is one that I cherish because none of us can do it alone”. 

You can buy your pair right here.

Los Angeles Mayor announces City will be “coal-free” by 2025

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has followed suit to many cities and announced LA will be coal free by 2025. The city currently gets 40% of its energy from two (out of date) coal plants. These plants are unsustainable, both economically and environmentally. Political plans along with the Department of Water have already delayed the initial coal free deadline by 5 years (previously the aim was 2020). Nothing yet has been set in stone, but there is a unanimous decision that the two 40 year old coal plants are just that, too old. Another step in the right direction for the green party.

50% of all food produced is wasted

Researchers at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers recently discovered that over 2 billion tonnes of food is wasted every year. This accounts for 30%-50% of all food produced. The main causes have been pinned down to;

1) Over cautious sell by dates.
2) Buy one get one free deals.
3) Everyone’s sudden obsession with vegetables.

Furthermore, 30% of crops manufactured in the UK are not even harvested due to the fact they don’t meet the immensely strict cosmetic standards set by food companies. This wasted food inevitably ends up in landfill sites where it produces mass quantities of methane, a gas that has many negative environmental effects. If this doesn’t concern you, then maybe the 1 billion people will who went hungry in 2010.
You want to know what you can do? Stop buying food in bulk and stop taking advantage of every “buy one get one free deal” just because you can. You may argue that we can’t control what the food companies produce or what their policies are. However you are the person buying the food, you control what ends up in your bin.
I leave you with

Buy glasses, save animals
Swim like a turtle with this wetsuit
The best iPhone case you can buy

 

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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

Environmental News! 29th June 2012

Bon Iver designs ‘vegan’ sneakers

Justin Vernon, more commonly known as the lead dinger of Bon Iver, has just released his own shoes that benefit animals. They support the ‘Best Friends Animal Society’, who will receive all the proceeds from sales. A review from LA Times knocked his design, stating that it was a “novice’s mistake” and a design only a “mid-westerner” would produce. However, they seem to draw attention more for the cause they support, along with the fact that most of us love and adore Justin Vernon. Considering these shoes are so unique, the $75 price-tag does not seem to high, so go on! Make a statement!

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon Designs Vegan Sneakers to Benefit Animals

Man plants 1360 acre forest, by himself

India suffers from intense drought, desertification and deforestation leaving mass ares of land barren. An Indian man, Jadav “Molai” Payeng, has decided to change all this by himself. He started the project 30 years ago when he was just a teenager. Witnessing dead reptiles due to a lack of forestry, he dedicated his life to growing bamboo in soil that was said impossible to grow in. He lived on the sandbar in a life of solitude, planting each tree by hand and watering them every day and night. After a few years, the sandbar transformed into a bamboo thicket. He then started planting proper trees once he learnt how red ants changed the properties of soil, making it more fertile. “I was stung many times” he said, as he explained how he hand carried red ants to his creation. The forest is now alive with the ecosystem as a food chain exists among it. Everything from fauna/ants to eagles/elephants have been spotted in the forest.
Some locals wanted to cut down his trees after it altered their way of life. He responded by threatening to kill them. I struggle to think of anyone who would not deem this man a modern hero for his herculean effort in saving the planet. Do the man a favour and stop using plastic cups.
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Sea-level rise occurring  4 times quicker on US east coast

Sea level rise is not uniform over the whole planet. Neither is global temperature rise. Some areas experience faster or slower changes. The US Geological Survey have stated “if global temperatures continue to rise, rates of sea level rise in this area are expected to continue increasing.” Since 1990, the 600 mile region has experienced a sea-level rise of 3.7mm per year. Compare this to the global average of 0.9mm per year and you will realise the cause for concern. This is caused  because a major Atlantic current that carries tropical water to the north is slowing down. This warmth expands seawater, which can lead to higher sea levels. More interestingly, North Carolina just passed a bill that encourages planning agencies to ignore sea-level rise. Please tell me why people are still too ignorant to wake up to this truth. What’s that? You love Cape Cod?! Then why don’t you try buying a more fuel efficient car than that Toyota Tundra you drive.

Penguins threatened by climate change

Emperor Penguins are now under threat due to changes in climate. Discovery News estimates that only 500-600 breeding pairs will be around by the year 2100. This is some drop from the current 3,000. The study was conducted in Terre Adélie in Antarctica, where French scientists have been observing penguin population for 50 years. The “melting of ice affects the fish, squid and krill that grow on the ice.” If the ice goes, so will the plankton which the penguins feed off. This causes a ripple effect through the food chain that could starve the various species of penguins.
Whilst the climate change seems minor to humans at the moment, the change seems much more deadly for certain species. To learn more about this and how you can help, visit Oceanites.

Climate Change Threatens Antarctic Penguin Population


I leave you by bringing your attention the people making our ‘green effort’ useless. This article writes of how the RIO+ Summit was a success simply because it brought attention to the environment. “Sure”, he says, “the document that government officials produced after months of negotiation doesn’t contain much that will make the planet a better place”. At least they were talking about it. At least there was some “energy”. At least they were thinking of what could be done.

WRONG.

There are things we can all be doing today. Please don’t let atricles like this lull you into a sense that everything is ok. The RIO+ Summit failed and so have our leaders. Start going green today. The world depends on it.