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Credit: Nick Cote for The New York Times

Even casual readers of the news know that the earth is probably going to look very different in 2100, and not in a good way.

The real culprit of the climate crisis is not any particular form of consumption, production or regulation but rather the very way in which we globally produce, which is for profit rather than for sustainability. So long as this order is in place, the crisis will continue and, given its progressive nature, worsen. This is a hard fact to confront. But averting our eyes from a seemingly intractable problem does not make it any less a problem. It should be stated plainly: It’s capitalism that is at fault.

Read the full article talking about the climate crisis in a different way here.

By Benjamin Y. Fong for The New York Times.

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WTMvideopanel (Credit: Griffith Institute for Tourism Insights)

 

When reflecting on the last decade of work on climate change and tourism, I can make three observations:

1. The climate is changing faster than predicted

Every year we are witnessing new records in climate extremes. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maintains several websites to report and visualise climate extremes and anomalies. The Figure on the right, for example, shows a long term trends. Not only are temperatures increasing faster than expected, but  so do the rise in sea levels, the intensity of storms, and the retreat of Arctic sea ice.

What does this means for tourism? Very clearly operating in – often vulnerable – locations becomes more costly and riskier. Thus, tourism industry and Government are now forced to get much more involved (and invest!) in adapting to changing conditions. In many cases, adaptation has to respond to negative impacts on assets and attractions. The Great Barrier Reef and recent coral bleaching events is a prominent example.

 

Read the full blog entry to find out more about the other two observations made as well as suggested action points here. 

The blog accompanies a video presentation recorded for the World Travel Market Responsible Tourism Day, 6 November 2017. The panel to which the video contributed was entitled: The Major Environmental Challenges: Carbon & Water RTT, and chaired by Mr Christopher Warren, Crystal Creek Meadows, NSW, Australia.

By Susanne Becken for Griffith Institute for Tourism Insights.

 

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

A sustainable trip starts at home. When preparing for your next trip, keep these basic travel tips in mind.

 

Flying

Pay attention to your carbon footprint when booking your flight. Some airlines emit more carbon dioxide than others. It’s possible for you to pay a little more to ‘offset’ the carbon dioxide or simply select the trip with the shortest flight time. The less time spent in the air improves your personal contribution to a cleaner environment.  

 

Pack light

Only pack the essentials. Do you really need that extra pair of shoes? More weight means more carbon emissions – and possible excess baggage charges that hit you where it really hurts.

 

Travel closer to home

Remember that there are places closer to home that are just as beautiful and interesting. Staying local benefits your local community and environment. Travelling by train or bus instead of a plane means you are emitting up to 50 percent less carbon dioxide in some cases.

 

Accommodation

Check for evidence of sustainability or eco-certification when making your reservation(s). When hotels or resorts have a proven track record in terms of environmental care and eco-management they will likely promote these features to catch your eye.

Here is a link to help you find some green hotels.

 

Products

Take your own toiletries and avoid using the in-room shampoos and shower gels provided in miniature plastic containers.

Some sunscreens may be harmful to people and the planet.

 

EQ offers organic lifestyle products including sunscreen that are respectful to marine life.

 

Smart Girls Who Surf  offers a line of sunscreen products for body, face and lips. Take your own reusable products, such as bags, tumblers and even chopsticks.

 

Read more about being a responsible traveller in the PATA s Responsible Business Travel Guidelines.

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

In April of this year, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading over 410 parts per million (ppm). This is a brand-new state of affairs, as humans have never existed on Earth with CO2 levels over 300 ppm. If carbon emissions continue their current trend, our atmosphere could get to a point it hasn’t been at in 50 million years—when temperatures were 18°F (10°C) higher and there was almost no ice on the planet (meaning there was a lot more water and a lot less land).

There’s long been a consensus between multiple countries to try to limit the temperature change from global warming to two degrees Celsius. This is critical for many reasons, not least the effect hotter temperatures will have (and have already had) on food production.

But author and activist Paul Hawken says two degrees isn’t enough—not nearly enough, in fact. In a moving presentation at Singularity University’s Global Summit last week in San Francisco, Hawken shared details from his recently-released book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.

 

Read the full article here and be surprised by at least one of the top solutions from Drawdown’s model.

 

By Vanessa Bates Ramirez for SingularityHub

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From New York’s High Line park to new affordable housing in Oakland, a debate over the accessibility of green design has taken root. Credit: Shutterstock/Stuart Monk

 

In East Oakland, a few blocks from the home of the champion Golden State Warriors basketball team, a series of geometric buildings and well-tended green spaces cut a striking contrast to the overgrown vacant lots, industrial equipment yards and aging corner stores that dot the neighborhood.

Tassafaronga Village, a six-year-old, $52.8 million LEED Gold housing redevelopment project, is also an example of the tradeoffs that can emerge in the push to make cities more sustainable — not just environmentally, but also socially and economically.

From Miami to New York, Houston to Oakland, the term “climate gentrification” is on the rise.

 

Learn about climate gentrification here:

 

By Lauren Hepler on GreenBiz

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

Restaurants, campuses, and farmers are battling food waste in their industries. Here’s how you can join the effort.

 

America is one of the largest offenders of food waste in the world, according to a recent survey. Every year, roughly 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown out worldwide, a considerable problem given that agriculture contributes about 22 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions and 12.7 million people go hungry in America alone.

Entrepreneurs across several sectors have created ways to re-purpose food. Their efforts are admirable and economical, but the biggest difference will be if you make food waste reduction a daily habit.

 

 

Read more about how you can give food a new purpose here.

 

By Joseph Jaafari from NationSwell

 

 

 

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Credit: Shutterstock

 

Excess heat in Phoenix grounded more than 40 flights in recent days, and
scientists say a warming climate could also mean more turbulent rides.

In recent days, American Airlines has been forced to cancel more than 40 flights in Phoenix. The reason: With daytime highs hovering around 120 degrees, it was simply too hot for some smaller jets to take off. Hotter air is thinner air, which makes it more difficult — and sometimes impossible — for planes to generate enough lift.

As the global climate changes, disruptions like these are likely to become more frequent, researchers say, potentially making air travel costlier and less predictable with a greater risk of injury to travelers from increased turbulence.

Read more about climate change affects air travel here.

From Zach Wichter from The New York Times

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CC BY-NC 2.0 Clive Derra

 

UK supermarket giant Tesco is not exactly popular with the deeper green environmentalist crowd. In fact, when they planned on opening one of their Tesco Express convenience stores in my hometown of Bristol, it literally resulted in riots.

But while there’s legitimate concern around the oversized power that Tesco wields to transform our high streets, it’s hard to deny that the company has also made some substantial and important commitments to sustainability. Whether it’s tackling food waste, deploying electric vans for deliveries or housing employees on the roofs of its stores, many of its initiatives reach beyond the ubiquitous promotion of reusable bags or selling organic produce.

Now Business Green reports that the company is making a firm, long-term commitment to the fight against climate change. Specifically, that commitment includes a promise to slash its own operational greenhouse emissions 60% by 2025, and by 100% by 2050. It has also promised to run on 100% renewable energy by 2030. In the process, it became the first UK supermarket to have its climate change plans approved by the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative.

 

Read the full article here.

By Sami Grover from The Treehugger

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A report from CDP finds that S&P 500 companies with sustainability strategies are outperforming the other companies on the index. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

 

Analysis of S&P 500 companies finds that corporations with sustainability strategies outperform others on the index

A new report by nonprofit CDP, released Tuesday, provides some of the first evidence of a link between business leadership on climate change and a company’s profitability.

The study, which coincides with the climate talks in New York, finds that S&P 500 companies that build sustainability into their core strategies are outperforming those that fail to show leadership.

Specifically, corporations that are actively managing and planning for climate change secure an 18% higher return on investment (ROI) than companies that aren’t – and 67% higher than companies who refuse to disclose their emissions.

The findings could help answer the long-debated industry question of whether sustainability undermines or improves financial results. Read more on how sustainable corporations perform better financially here.

From The Guardian by Jo Confino.

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New Sustainable Habits for World Food Day 2016

Categories: Green Tips, Planet
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World Food wfd2016_webbanner_en

Every year, countries come together on 16 October for World Food Day to increase awareness of the global campaign to end hunger. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shines a light on the effects of climate change on food security with this year’s theme ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too’.

The FAO is urging countries to adopt sustainable farming practices, decrease food losses, and to invest in rural development by strengthening smallholding farmers and fisherfolk whose livelihoods are most affected by climate change. In September 2015, 193 countries pledged to end hunger by 2030.

The FAO is challenging all of us to contribute to this goal by simply changing our daily habits and making better decisions. Here’s a three-step guide on joining the movement:

Step 1. Go to FAO’s World Food Day Climate Actions website and pick four actions that interest you.

There are three categories to choose from:

  • Preserve the earth’s precious natural resources (e.g. taking shorter showers)
  • Waste less (e.g. use refillable water bottles and coffee cups)
  • Being climate smart by reducing your carbon footprint. Walk, ride a bicycle and consider using public transport

Step 2. Share your actions on social networks using the hashtag #WFD2016

Take selfies, shoot videos or simply write about your commitment to take action to end hunger. Be an advocate – and let your friends know that they can be one too!

Step 3. Make these four actions into a habit!

It’s extremely easy to start something – but the challenge is to always maintain that commitment. Here are some tips on how to make these actions into life habits:

  • Choose an action that interests you and is easy to start. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle is something that everyone can (and should) immediately do. It not only saves you money but it is also better for the environment and for your health. Invest in a sturdy bottle that is easy to carry  so that you’ll always want it with you.

World Food start-small

Illustration from JamesClear.com

  • Remind yourself to always carry your water bottle by setting an alarm on your tablet or phone or a daily note on your online calendar. Check out Goals in Google Calendar and 10 other apps to help you form sustainable habits.
  • Give yourself a reward. Having your own water bottle means that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water ever again when eating out. Imagine how much money you would save! Instead of contributing to the world’s plastic waste, you can use the money for something else – such as a delicious dessert.

Forming a new habit can take from two to eight months. In those months, there will be times when you’ll forget to bring that water bottle. That’s okay. Start again and just keep on going.

World Food habitquote

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