10 ways to consume less and help the planet

10 ways to consume less and help the planet

Last week I was lecturing in one of my classes about the birth of consumerism in the 1950’s, showing students a couple of popular ads that linked domesticity, femininity, and sexuality and asking them to comment on what they believed the ad was trying to communicate. The class reminded me that I needed to check my own consumption habits once again. It is a practice I have observed since starting Green and Prosperous several years ago.

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3 Small Ways We Can Prevent the Next Mass Extinction Event

3 Small Ways We Can Prevent the Next Mass Extinction Event

Guest post by Rebecca Pryor

For the majority of us out there, the question of mass extinctions through time is hardly a priority in our minds. After all, we have our own busy hectic lives to manage on a daily basis. We may have had a cursory look at them in our Geography class several years ago, but that is about the extent of it. It is a phrase that has been buried in the deep recesses of our minds for a while now, but we need to bring it out to the consciousness of most people out there. Why so? The main reason is to ensure that people are aware of the sheer possibilities of such a colossal disaster taking place in the world of today. The question of mass extinctions over time is especially relevant in a period when we have a renewed focus and added urgency to address the question of global climate change before it’s too late to prevent the next mass extinction event.

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Why going green might ultimately be pointless

Why going green might ultimately be pointless

It’s hard to ignore the expanding “green living” industry, even if you don’t particularly follow it or practice any of its tenets. Globally, more and more people – particularly those who are middle to upper-middle class, urban and peri-urban dwelling – are pursuing healthy living options, buying more organic and non-GMO foods, raising awareness about the presence of harmful and toxic chemicals in the water, the air, and the personal care products we consume, and investing in renewable energy sources.

Yet ultimately, going green may be pointless. Here’s why, and what you can do to make sure that your efforts to go green are actually helpful…

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How small-scale farming can help reduce the effects of climate change

How small-scale farming can help reduce the effects of climate change

This past summer was terrible for my crops. I eagerly started the process of sowing seeds and transferring seedlings and cuttings into their permanent homes and looked forward to the day I could begin harvesting the results of my hard labor. I was also in the process of renovating my home for sale and purchasing another, so working in the garden was a welcome relief from the stress and uncertainty of that process. At least it was supposed to be…

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Could Water Pumps “Refreeze” The Arctic?

Could Water Pumps “Refreeze” The Arctic?

guest post by Ian Craft

Whether you keep abreast of global issues or not, chances are you will be aware of global warming and the threat that it poses to our planet.  Polar ice caps are rapidly melting due to steadily increasing global temperatures, and if it doesn’t stop soon then we could be looking at nothing short of a global catastrophe.

So how do we combat this problem before it’s too late? The most effective solution is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, but that of course is easier said than done. So as this is not happening, scientists are working hard thinking of alternative ways to try and reverse the situation.

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Do We Really Need Earth Day Anymore?

Do We Really Need Earth Day Anymore?

Somehow, this past Earth Day felt different. I’m not sure why, but somehow it struck me as strange that neither of my kids’ schools mentioned it in announcements, let alone did anything special to commemorate the day. While the news cycle in the US was dominated by the untimely death of music icon Prince, as well as the ongoing circus that provides daily fodder for coverage of the 2016 Presidential elections, the omission of anything more than brief mentions of Earth Day in the major media outlets, and even the online ones I regularly consult, felt odd...

Whether or not people were actually thinking much about Earth Day and its significance, there is one thing that made this Earth Day important, and perhaps different than any previous Earth Day. But it also underscores the main reason why the largest secular holiday in the world has become obsolete.

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Why you should be optimistic about the Paris climate change conference (COP21)

Why you should be optimistic about the Paris climate change conference (COP21)

The 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties, which refers to the United Nations-sponsored climate change talks taking place in Paris this year, has renewed global discussions about the need for rapid action. Delegates are making global pleas for nations to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that threaten the long-term security of the planet, and to create the conditions for an alternative energy revolution. The goals of this year’s climate summit are lofty, and may even be achievable. Here are five things you should know about the 2015 Paris climate change conference that will have a major impact on the environment that should give you a reason to be hopeful about our collective ability to meet this challenge within the next decade and a half.

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Religion and Ecology: Alliance of Faith

Religion and Ecology: Alliance of Faith

Religion, to listen to its critics and skeptics, is one of the biggest causes of antagonism and violence in the world. With much of the world’s attention riveted on the devastating refugee crisis caused by Daesh (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; the Pope’s call for global action on climate change; the stampede that killed over 700 Hajj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia last week; and the role that evangelical Christianity plays in American politics, the pitfalls of institutionalized religion (and the perversion of religion) will remain a hot topic for the foreseeable future.

There is, however, another side to religion that is quietly being discussed by religious leaders, practitioners, and sympathizers. This side was encapsulated in Pope Francis’ address to the U.S. Congress on September 24th. It concerns the role of religion – specifically, its institutions and adherents acting in the name of religion – in the global environmental movement.

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Going Solar: look before you leap (then leap!)

Going Solar: look before you leap (then leap!)

According to the “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018” report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre, 2017 was the 8th year in a row that investment in renewables exceeded $200 billion. Most of this investment has been in solar and wind energy. As a result, the cost of solar energy has become cheaper and easier to implement by businesses and individuals alike.

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Regulating Carbon Pollution through the Climate Action Plan: Window Dressing or Pathway to an Energy Revolution?

Regulating Carbon Pollution through the Climate Action Plan: Window Dressing or Pathway to an Energy Revolution?

On Monday, President Obama revealed the final details of his Climate Action Plan, partially fulfilling a campaign promise he made in the lead up to the 2008 elections. Some critics of the Plan claim that it will have a negative impact on the job market, especially in the major coal producing states. Other critics say that it does not go far enough to reduce toxic greenhouse gases and is still subject to being undermined by the judiciary...[T]he Plan does raise an interesting question for the long term: is the regulation of carbon emissions merely a form of political window dressing or can it be a lasting solution to counter the negative effects of climate change?

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What you can do about Climate Change

What you can do about Climate Change

The July 3rd post featured my interview with Moms Clean Air Force National Field Manager Gretchen Dahlkemper-Alfonso. This week’s post continues the conversation about the climate change agenda, drawing on information from that interview and from recent studies that suggest that that time for sounding the warning bell is over: now is the time for taking action.

Taking action on climate change is not just something for policy makers and governments to tackle: there are things you can do, too. So we end this post with a list of 6 things you can do to take action on global climate change problems. But before we get to that it’s important to understand something about why action now is so crucial, and so timely…

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Everybody’s talking clean air and climate change again

Everybody’s talking clean air and climate change again

By many accounts, more so than ever before, climate change today is the biggest environmental issue of our time. No one in this world is unaffected by it, and it has not only environmental consequences, but also economic, political, and social ones.

Whatever the reasons, people are beginning to listen to the chorus of voices that have been pushing for the US to get serious about climate change. One of these voices belongs to Gretchen Dahlkemper-Alfonso, who I interviewed this past June. We talked about changes in the everyday awareness of people about environmental management in general and climate change in particular, why climate change is the biggest environmental challenge of our time, and what ordinary people can do to address it, when so many our political leaders here in the US seem unable or unwilling to get serious about passing substantive legislation that will deal with climate change and the things that are driving it.

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