Butterflies are Back Thanks to Small Gardens

pollinator

If you planted native species in your garden then you deserve a pat on the shoulder. Your efforts have helped the butterflies return from dangerously low population levels. In Toronto we’ve seen the mass return of butterflies and it’s thanks to efforts by people and educational groups ensuring that pollinators get the food they need. It also helps hold back invasive species by helping native ones and therefore ensuring we don’t lose our biodiversity. If you haven’t planted native species – don’t worry the year isn’t over yet!

Monarch butterflies are flying all over the city, and many people are wondering how that’s possible after the species’ population reached an all-time low in 2010.

“Best guess is that the push in gardening for planting butterfly friendly plants and leaving milkweed alone has been successful. People are becoming more conscious of what they plant in their gardens and it’s a really fantastic positive change,” one user wrote.

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Thanks to Greg!

Autonomous Objects

tape and tool

The sharing economy should be about sharing more than profits. At least that’s what the thinkers behind the sharing economy called for in the early days of the term; however we’ve seen it evolve into a profit-driven notion like rental cars and the ever-questionable AirBnB. Frustrated by this greedy turn in the sharing economy the people at Good Robot started Autonomous Objects (AO). AO is similar to the tool library except there are no physical locations for the service, instead the tools are listed and tracked on an ethereum blockchain. The tools live in the houses of the borrowers until the next borrow shows up.

Why Autonomous Objects?
Autonomous objects are objects with freedom: they can’t be owned because they are part of a commons. This is an important and deliberate choice, because while ownership and its assumptions have been very valuable for our society, these assumptions have also dismantled many a successful commons. We try and avoid that problem by ensuring the objects in our system have genuine autonomy. Every object even has its own web page and even a ‘bank account’ (more about that later). Autonomous objects are public goods that can be enjoyed, used and shared by anyone. But they also need kind-hearted people to help, care for, fund, and protect them too (a guardian). Anyone can help, and best of all, if you like an autonomous object enough to donate to it you can help it spawn new offspring. Once an autonomous object accumulates enough donations in its ‘bank account’ it will purchase new copies of itself (its children) to share with the world!

Check it out!

Ethiopia Planted 350 Million Trees in One Day

Forest

Earlier this year a group of scientists released a report that planting 1 trillion trees will essentially undo a decade of human carbon output. Ethiopia is doing its part by planting 350 million trees in just one year. The country is experiencing direct harms from the climate crisis (from deforestation to wildlife loss) and as chosen to plant trees to address those harms. They hope to ultimately plant 4 billion trees by the end of there rainy season!

Monday’s challenge had encouraged citizens in Africa’s second most populous nation to plant 200 million trees in one day. In 2017, India set the world record when around 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million in 12 hours.
Ethiopia’s goal for the whole season is even bigger than that; the national tree planting campaign aims to plant 4 billion trees during “the rainy season” — between May and October — according to a May tweet by Ahmed.

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Celebrities Won’t Save the Planet, You Will

happiness

Celebrities have the ability to bring attention to issues they find important – from helping starving children to ensuring you feel pressure to buy things you don’t need. In recent history celebrities have changed the discourse on important issues, but when it comes to the climate crisis they come across as powerless. That’s OK, because the people actually making a difference are on the ground and helping their friends make changes.

The most powerful climate “influencers” of today are not celebrities who have achieved fame and then used their platform to deliver some wan cliché about “being nice to the planet.” They’re ordinary people — mostly young women — who are alarmed about the climate crisis and demand world leaders pay more attention to it. In environmental circles, their activism has made them celebrities, not the other way around.

“I think that people my age are just kind of done listening to people who are on red carpets all the time, and then post one picture of a turtle on the side,” said Jamie Margolin, the 17-year-old co-founder of youth climate group Zero Hour. “They’re getting sick of fakeness, and with the urgency of the climate crisis, it’s not enough to have it as your side thing. People are more drawn to influencers whose whole thing is tackling the climate crisis.”

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Examples of Ways People Already Live a Low Carbon Lifestyle

Berlin

As the climate crisis continues there are many ways that we all can try to slow it down. The biggest changes need to happen at the political level enforcing sustainable practices, in the meantime there are things you can do as an individual. The easiest thing to do is buy less and switch to low-carbon transit; however, there is even more options ahead of you. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration then the Guardian has you covered! They recently ran an article looking at some peopel who have already converted to a low-carbon lifestyle.

All our vegetables are seasonal, grown either in our garden or on a local organic farm. My meals are 80% vegan, and 20% vegetarian. Vegan food is delicious – it’s a cuisine.

I try to reuse and repair my belongings. I use the money I save to spend more on products I do buy. My clothes are either secondhand or organic. I have a Fairphone – it’s designed so that the individual parts can be easily replaced when they break. I don’t buy wrapping paper, I reuse an old duvet cover I cut up into squares.

In total, we’ve reduced our home’s carbon emissions by 93%. I’ve enjoyed making all these changes – they’ve been fun – and I feel part of a big movement. I want to be able to say to the next generation: I tried to prevent runaway climate change. If I didn’t, I would feel I was committing a wrong.”

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