Buying Recycled Products is Good for Everything

Reduce, reuse, and recycle is a mantra heard time and time again. Yet, not everyone follows it (remember that they are in that order for a reason: reduce what you consume in the first place, then reuse what you can, and recycle the rest). It can be easy though. When you do buy stuff (remember that you should try not to buy things – reduce) buy recycled because there are a ton of reasons from energy consumption to sending a message. Over at Grist they compiled a compendium of reasons to buy recycled.

Still, I’d encourage you to continue buying the 100-percent recycled stuff if you can — for foil as well as any other product — for so many reasons. Recycled content saves natural resources, so we can mine fewer metals, cut down fewer trees, and tap less petroleum. It uses less energy to produce, sometimes dramatically so; recycled aluminum can be whipped up with 95 percent less power than virgin aluminum. Recycled material slashes pollution and saves water, too. And let’s not forget it prevents our consumer castoffs from languishing away in a landfill.

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Effective Nonviolent Resistance Against Tyranny

Using violence to fight violence isn’t the best approach, instead nonviolent resistance can be used effectively (and less ironically). In this TED talk Jamila Raqib explores what are the best forms of resistance to oppressive entities through nonviolence and how to think about nonviolent resistance. She uses her life experience and connects to the complex research based approach used.

We’re not going to end violence by telling people that it’s morally wrong, says Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Instead, we must find alternative ways to conduct conflict that are equally powerful and effective. Raqib promotes nonviolent resistance to people living under tyranny — and there’s a lot more to it than street protests. She shares encouraging examples of creative strategies that have led to change around the world and a message of hope for a future without armed conflict. “The greatest hope for humanity lies not in condemning violence but in making violence obsolete,” Raqib says.

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Using Snow to Cool Buildings in Summer

During winter snow is cleared from the roads and put into massive piles to melt when warmer weather returns. This might seem simple enough, but it’s a big challenge dealing with the snow because of the sheer volume in colder climates like Canada. Researchers in British Columbia are proposing that the snow gets taken to special facilities that can benefit from all that snow – for cooling buildings during the summer.

It’s like a return of the once very profitable ice king.

Snow cooling technology is currently used several other countries, including Sweden, where a 60,000 cubic-metre pile of stored winter snow is used to cool the Sundsvall Hospital during the summer.

Hewage and his colleagues determined that in Canada, it would take about a playground’s worth of snow to cool a neighbourhood of 200 to 300 homes for the summer. In the winter, the snow could be compacted and used as a skating rink, he said.

With current energy prices, the system is more economically feasible in Ontario, where rates are high. B.C. has an abundant supply of cheap hydro power.

“But, of course, the environment has a price, too. So if you consider all of the aspects — environment, economic and also the social dimensions — I believe this is a good technology for Canada,” Hewage said.

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Conscientiousness Can Lead to Corporate Success

The corporate working world is a tough place and ti’s often assumed that the heartless will have the most success.The myth that that one needs to be like a character from Wall St. in order to advance on the corporate ladder is too common. Instead, you should be conscious of those around you and practice good ol’ empathy. As always it pays in more than one way to consider and respect the needs of people around you.

In fact, psychologists have even suggested that conscientiousness is the single most important factor that will help a person to score a job because conscientious people not only achieve more, but deal with setbacks more effectively. “Highly conscientious employees do a series of things better than the rest of us,” University of Illinois psychologist Brent Roberts told  Inc. “Even if there is a failure, they’re going to have a plan to deal with that failure.”

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