Condoms are Good?

This is some news that can be considered good or not-so-good depending on how you view the world. Having fewer children is the best thing we can do (or not do) for the environment.

Three decades ago, experts said that the ever-growing human population would lead to global disaster. Paul Erhlich’s best-selling work, The Population Bomb predicted disaster for humanity due to overpopulation and the “population explosion”.
Even though the world population increased to 6.7 billion in thirty years, advances in technology and agriculture, globalization and successful family planning has forestalled the detonation of this bomb.
With the recent rise in the cost of food and fuel, and our failure to control greenhouse gas emissions, along with predictions of a world population of 9 billion by 2040, it looks like we might run out of planet even with advances in technology.
One of the ways we can create a more sustainable planet is to limit our population. I’m not talking about state mandated controls but self-regulation. If a woman has control over the number and the spacing of her children, we are all better off.

World Eden Project Planned for Bristol

This is really neat! Bristol’s zoo is planning to rethink the zoo concept and create a place that will be like the garden of eden for wildlife.

The timing could hardly be more prescient. Last week the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the world’s largest environmental body, predicted that up to a fifth of all mammals are now facing extinction. At least 76 species are known to have died out since the 1500s with a further 1,141 of the 5,487 mammal species currently endangered.

Under the plans submitted to South Gloucestershire Council, Bristol’s “eco zoo” could connect the inherent interest value of captive animals with the conservation methods needed to save their wild cousins.

The whole idea of captivity will be reduced to a minimum – this zoo aims to be to animals what the Eden Project is for plants. The often controversially cramped spaces of the Victorian era’s most famous zoos are gone – replaced with open land, moats and ditches. Food for the animals will be organic, while 80 per cent of the building material will be locally sourced and sustainable.

But most importantly, the four themed areas of the park – which if given the go-ahead will be open by 2012 – have all been chosen to reflect specific areas of the world where conservation is desperately needed to save critically endangered species.

A Better Use for Oil Drums

Oil drums carry stuff that many people don’t like (but everyone uses), some enterprising people have figured out a new use for old oil drums.

The basic Stanker is a one-off, unique table, using recycled materials. The name and model number corresponds to the size of the original barrel. The variations are endless and innovative–one model uses the lid of the barrel as a table surface and Louis XV style legs are added. Another barrel is made into a shelving unit and yet another is a chair.

Top sustainable construction projects honored

The Holcim Foundation has released the winners of the most sustainable buildings in North America. The CBC is reporting that Canada has won three awards.

The winners of the second North American Holcim Awards competition for Sustainable Construction projects were announced at a ceremony in Montreal. Total prize money of USD 270,000 was presented to nine projects from Canada and the United States that showcase the latest approaches to address critical topics including housing affordability, employment, renewable energy, and water efficiency.

The competition is run in parallel in five regions of the world by the Swiss-based Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction. Almost 5000 projects from 90 countries entered the competition which aims to promote sustainable responses from the building and construction industry to technological, environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues.

Taiwan’s Bicycle Makers Love Economic Collapse

my bikeWe all know that the global market is getting shaken around right now and as “the invisible hand” rights (or bails out) the inherent failures of capitalism some people are benefiting from the stress. Bicycle manufactures are benefiting from consumers tightening their belts because bikes are a great way to save money, they also keep you fit, and are good for the environment. Yeah for bicycles!

Exports reached a record high in 2007 of 1.05 billion US dollars with 4.75 million bikes sold abroad, while 2008 looks set to break that record with the export of 2.76 million bikes totalling 635 million US dollars in the first six months, government figures showed.
There is no official data on how many bicycles are sold locally but industry watchers estimate around one million were sold in 2007 on the island of 23 million people.
“Business was booming in 2007 and this year looks to be the best,” said Jeffrey Sheu, spokesman for the world’s leading bicycle maker Giant Inc.
“Our monthly revenue hit a historical high in August and September looks like setting a new record.”
Giant’s August and September group revenue rose 27 percent and 35 percent year-on-year to 3.91 billion and 4.12 billion Taiwan dollars (120 million US and 126 million US) respectively while 2008 revenue is projected to increase by at least 25 percent to 40 billion.

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