“We are in a race against time. The era of consumption without consequences is over.”
~ U.N. secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
May 1, or “May Day” as it is commonly known, is a traditional holiday in many countries, celebrating the coming of spring and honoring workers around the globe.
The word mayday however, has a much darker meaning than the joyous holiday it shares its name with.
The word was taken from a french phrase meaning ‘come and help me,’ and is used as a distress call by sailors and pilots who find themselves desperately trapped in life threatening circumstances.
While we may all enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth’s springtime, let us also be aware that she is screaming out “Mayday!”.
Our world is in need of immediate change with a focus on sustainability. IKEA has taken the lead on Social Sustainability.
IKEA aims to take 200,000 people out of poverty in massive social sustainability drive
IKEA is to employ refugees at production centres in Jordan this summer as part of a long-term plan to create employment for 200,000 disadvantaged people around the world through social entrepreneurship programmes.
The centres in Jordan, which should be operational by August, will employ a mixture of Syrian refugees and Jordanians in the production of woven products including rugs, cushions and bedspreads.
IKEA will build and equip the production centres, in which skilled craftspeople will work on handmade items.
The Swedish furniture giant is partnering with Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organisation established by Jordan’s Queen Rania, which will manage the facilities and employ 100 people to start with, rising to 400 people within two years. Half will be refugees and half local workers.
The project follows a range of similar social entrepreneur-led projects in disadvantaged communities around the world, which already employ 2,000 people. Initiatives already up and running include projects with female entrepreneurs in India and a programme employing immigrant women in Sweden. (Full story)
Repurposing and Innovation
Repurposing Plastic Waste
Recycling plastic bags and turning them into useful and arty products can be an easy and profitable way to help clean up the environment!
According to research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, somewhere between five hundred billion and one trillion disposable bags are used each year around the world. The bad news is plastic bags remain in landfills, oceans, and other places for thousands of years.
While many cities and countries are banning plastic bags, there is still an abundance of plastic bags that are littering our streets, our oceans and waterways. Converting them to usable products is easy. Here are a few examples of what you can do with discarded plastic bags, and other hard to recycle plastic materials. (Read more)
Let There Be Light
In the developed world people are encouraged to reduce their electric consumption, but what if you live in a part of the world where there is no electric service? A Liter of Light is an amazing organization that is repurposing recycled soda bottles and providing natural light in a dark world.
Water Out of Thin Air
In our April “Earthday” issue we focused on the upcoming generation and their commitment to finding solutions to our environmental issues.
This young man saw a problem, and put his mind and energy into finding a solution. Watch his story as he explains during a TedXTeen talk.
Politics and Education
The signing of the Paris Climate Accord on November 12, 2017 gave hope that the world is capable of working together to commit to building a low-carbon future. Climate change and global warming affect everyone on our planet. It will even affect those who do not believe it is happening.
There is no denying that the US is taking a major step back in terms of participating in and addressing the issues of climate change.
While the majority of people understand the urgency of changing our ways to address climate change, only a minority actually take the time to stand up and fight for it. This needs to change.
In 2006 film director Davis Guggenheimer and former Vice President Al Gore teamed together to produce the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” where they made a compelling case that global warming is real, man-made, and it’s effects will be cataclysmic if we don’t take action now.
It was an eye opening film that left the viewers shaken enough to inspire action.
On July 28, 2017, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power” will be in theaters. One of the best educational tools for those who still do not “get it”. Watch the Official Trailer to see what is coming:
How to Take Action
There are many environmental organizations around the world that offer a way for you to get involved.
“OUR MISSION IS TO CATALYZE A GLOBAL SOLUTION TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS BY MAKING URGENT ACTION A NECESSITY ACROSS EVERY LEVEL OF SOCIETY.”
Through research and outreach that inspire action, the Worldwatch Institute works to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world that meets human needs. The Institute’s top mission objectives are universal access to renewable energy and nutritious food, expansion of environmentally sound jobs and development, transformation of cultures from consumerism to sustainability, and an early end to population growth through healthy and intentional childbearing.
Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions.
Earthworks stands for clean air, water and land, healthy communities, and corporate accountability. We work for solutions that protect both the Earth’s resources and our communities.
Our focus on replacing our dependence on fossil fuels and coal, by developing and using renewable energy systems, is important.
But we also need to focus on regenerating the earth, reverse some of the damage that global warming has caused so far, and bring our climate back to a healthy and sustainable level globally. Dr. Michael Shafer offers a concrete plan of action you can take within your own community. Discover how you can help make a difference.
We are all about sharing information. We add a new link to related articles on a daily basis. To see a recap of this month’s articles visit our Daily Updates Archive. (Worth a read!)
May 31, 2017
We Have Some Interesting New Info On Why Antarctica Is The Slower-Warming Pole
By Tim Radford
Scientists believe they have settled one of the great polar puzzles − why Antarctica is warming at a rate so much slower than the Arctic region. And the answer is a simple one: Antarctica is so much higher.
To ram the point home, they used a computer simulation to hammer the entire southern continent until it was no more than a metre above sea level. At which point, in their simulation, warming at the South Pole became much more dramatic.
The two poles are very different: the Arctic is an ocean almost entirely surrounded by land, while Antarctica is a vast continent entirely surrounded by frozen ocean.
Education continues to be the driving force behind our environmental program. Teaching farmers how to build and use biochar ovens to reduce smoke and improve crops through utilization of biochar enriched fertilizer is key to improving our environment.
Besides holding free training sessions for local farmers, we have had visitors from Malaysia come learn how to work with biochar, and they have taken it back to their country to help spread the word.
Dr. Michael Shafer recently returned from a trip to China where he led several biochar workshops helping their local farmers learn how to implement a biochar program to help reduce the air pollution problem and improve crop yields.
Environmental Awareness for Kids
Addressing the issues of climate change will unfortunately land at the feet of our children. There is no better time than the present to encourage Environmental Awareness. The following programs help to instill an understanding of how we can take better care of our environment.
Warm Heart Environment kicked off our 1st Annual Earthday Celebration in Chiang Mai.
We would like to thank all of the community groups that joined us; Trash Heroes, Studio Naenna, Living Films, Nakornpayap International, Super Bee Wax Wraps, Care Bakery, Lastik, Kid Yoga Garden, and SuperDirt! A special thanks to our wonderful sponsors that helped make our day a success: Promenada Mall, Rimping Supermarket, International Rotary Club Chiang Mai, 137 Pillars, and Citylife.
We are already planning next year’s “Earthday Festival”, which will be even bigger and better!