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  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

The scoop: Cycling is a simple but effective way for individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. On a larger scale, cycling is an important tool in fulfilling the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Facts and figures:

Bottom line: Cycling allows individuals to lead a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. And when an entire society adopts cycling, it can profoundly impact the climate.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Business
  2. Better Markets
  3. Business
  4. Profit

The scoop: New construction needs to prioritize sustainable practices to prevent an energy crisis in the future. Real estate investors are starting to take notice.

Facts and figures:

Bottom line: Investors are and will always be driven by returns. But the private sector is starting to realize the necessary risk assessment and tax burdens associated with energy-sucking real estate. Green building is the future.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Better Brands
  2. Business
  3. Profit
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The scoop: Lululemon is a cultural staple in the world of athleisure. Sustainability is not a core aspect of their brand strategy.

Some talking points:

  • Lululemon uses polybags (plastic) for finished products sent to distribution centers.
  • Most of their materials are not eco-friendly. They are working on that.
  • Four of five global distribution centers are zero-waste.
  • Lululemon is pretty transparent about their carbon footprint and accountability.

Bottom line: They are taking some steps toward sustainability, but I have to hold Lululemon to a higher standard than that. They have an opportunity to lead the athleisure industry, and they don't even come close.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Brands
  2. Business
  3. Profit
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The scoop: Patagonia is a forward-thinking billion-dollar brand. But there is always work to be done. Let's see how they chalk up.

Is Patagonia sustainable?

  • Patagonia uses mostly recycled materials.
  • They have a lifetime return and repair program for all of their products.
  • Patagonia still uses animals in their supply chain, but they try to do it as responsibly as possible. I'd rather see no animal use.
  • They are slightly above average when it comes to labor conditions.
  • Patagonia looks to go carbon neutral by 2025.

Zoom out: Patagonia hits on the environmental side, but they have some work to do, especially regarding transparency & ethics surrounding suppliers and animal welfare.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Big Tech
  2. Profit
  3. Tech

A burgeoning space tourism industry is gearing up for significant expansion. Critics believe that increasing space flights would be detrimental to the climate.

In the past year, two billionaire-backed companies, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, have completed successful test flights of their space tourism vehicles.

And last week, SpaceX, the company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, announced that it had raised $1 billion from investors to help fund the development of its space tourism vehicle.

Let's find out how retail space flights will impact the climate.

Dig deeper ➝ 2 min

  1. Better Brands
  2. Business
  3. Profit
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The scoop: Starbucks does a lot of reacting instead of acting. In that light, I do not consider Starbucks to be a cultural nor sustainable leader in the food & beverage space.

Sooo is Starbucks sustainable? No. Especially in today's climate, you're better off making your own cup, or supporting a local indie coffee shop. It's worth the extra few cents to help a business owner put food on their family dinner table.

Dig deeper → 3 min.

  1. Energy
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Planet

Here's my case for why nuclear energy is better than solar and wind energy.

Like most things in life, the global energy debate is political. When an idea or practice becomes political, the information that represents that idea or practice flows through filters of carefully constructed narratives supported or rejected by its stakeholders.

  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Planet
  3. Water
The world's coral reefs provide food to millions; they protect and create land. Coral reefs serve as essential sources of pharmacological study and information. They are intrinsically valuable and beautiful features of our unique (perhaps singularly so) complex-life-supporting planet.
  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Planet
  3. Water

A new report from the WHO and UNICEF shows that 1.8 billion people now have access to clean drinking water since 2000, yet billions are left behind. The lack of clean water disproportionately affects women, girls, and the poorest people, especially developing countries.

Why is this still an issue in 2022? What can we do for clean water in the future?

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Energy
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Planet

Europe faces an energy crisis, with short-term gas prices five times higher in the first quarter of 2022 than their 2021 average. The trouble, brought on by a myriad of factors, but most recently exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, underlines the risks of relying too heavily on fossil fuels. Nuclear energy can provide some much-needed help in Europe.

Dig deeper → 5 min

  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Land
  3. Planet
Cannabis farms around the US use carbon offsets to lower their environmental impact and claim sustainable certifications. Many criticize carbon offset programs as a band-aid solution to climate issues, as they allow broken operations and supply chains to persist through the purchase of carbon credits. We’re taking a closer look at carbon offsets for cannabis […]
  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

Air purifiers can do the job of both air-purifying and detoxifying, but their also noisy, ugly, and costly. Thankfully, natural plants clean the air too. Plus, a lush green plant adds a lot more to your interior decor than a giant air purifier.

Here are nine air purifying indoor plants that serve as beautiful home decorations. They're great additions to any home décor scheme while also working to eliminate pollutants that may harm you and your family.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

Ethical Clothing founders Ben Heinkel and Jack Hesketh had the same problem, so they built a solution. Meet the new ethical and sustainable clothing search engine Ethical Clothing, a platform built for sustainable shopping.

Ethical Clothing focuses on ethical brands, helping eco-conscious shoppers quickly search and filter for sustainable clothing.

Dig deeper → 5 min

  1. Better Business
  2. Business
  3. Profit

Climate mitigation is a multi-lateral issue. There is no one-size fits all band-aid solution to solve Earth's problems. But corporations in particular wield considerable influence over the state of global affairs. Can corporations lead the charge on climate?

Dig deeper → 7 min

  1. Profit
  2. Tech
  3. Web3

The scoop: The sustainability of Web 3 ties closely to the real world. A large portion of our world depends on energy also needed to run the web.

There are some outside factors you may not be aware of that can drastically change how Web 3 influences sustainability around the world (not just on the web).

Key points:

  • Only about 12% of the energy in the US comes from renewables right now. This needs to change in order to provide a more sustainable energy source for Web 3 applications.
  • Web 3 applications can offset its energy consumption by making other aspects of our economy more sustainable.
  • It’s still early. We are likely to see unexpected solutions come from unexpected areas. Buckle up for the ride. 

What’s next? Rather than trying to predict the future, spot trends that influence the sustainability of Web 3 to better gauge its progress.

Dig deeper → 5 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. Business
  3. Profit
Bloomberg Businessweek published a report this week outlining the problem with ESG investing. It’s a lengthy analysis with lots of facts and figures, so I thought it would be worthwhile to summarize its major findings. Dig deeper → 2 min Meet MSCI: the ESG matchmaker MSCI is the world’s premier ratings company for environmental, social […]
  1. Better Business
  2. Business
  3. Doing
  4. Profit

This week, we sat down with Closed Loop Partners CEO Ron Gonen. Closed Loop Partners is a New York based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity and project finance as well as an innovation center focused on building the circular economy.

During our conversation, we covered pressing topics like social entrepreneurship, sustainable investing, and climate optimism.

Dig deeper ➝ 3 min

  1. Lifestyle
  2. People
  3. Thinking

The scoop: I lived in Japan for almost three years and learned a lot about sustainable living through cultural norms and traditional mentality.

Key Sustainability Lessons From Japan

  • The Japanese are a very cohesive group of people who inherently share common goals for the good of the country
  • Certain cultural norms in Japan have helped the country to reduce carbon and promote sustainable living
  • Living conditions in Japan naturally encourage careful use of resources such as water, energy, and food
  • Urban and rural transportation systems are a huge factor in the reduction of greenhouse gases
  • Care for mental and physical health improves conditions towards a sustainable lifestyle

Dig Deeper →  5 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
  4. Uncategorized
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Everyone deserves to have the wedding day of their dreams, but that doesn’t need to come at the cost of the environment. Let’s find out how to create a sustainable wedding.

  • Go For Vintage Jewelry
    • Vintage engagement or wedding rings are good for the environment and your bank account.
    • Vintage jewelry is VAT exempt
    • Not to mention, it is breathtakingly beautiful with a depth of history for you to enjoy.
  • Ask Your Venue About Environmental Commitment
    • How do they dispose of food waste? What is their recycling policy? Are they energy efficient?
  • Allow Bridesmaids To Choose Own Dress
    • If you choose the dress for your bridesmaids, it isn’t guaranteed that they will wear it again, and we know that wearing clothes once and never again is not very environmentally friendly!
    • Allow your bridesmaids to choose their own dresses.
  • Rent The Groomsmen Tuxes
    • You can get higher quality suits by renting.
    • It will be cheaper and far less waste will be produced
  • Consider Vegan Menu
    • Better for the environment, and can be elegant when done right.
  • Choose In Season Flowers
    • Choosing seasonal flowers will help you to capture the season of your wedding beautifully, giving a timeless and beautiful addition to your wedding décor.
    • Choosing local and seasonal flowers also cut out the need to import flowers from abroad or even across the country.
  • Eco-Friendly Wedding Favors
    • Give out eco-friendly wedding favors. Choose biodegradable flower bombs or vegan chocolate from a local shop.

Dig deeper ➝ 5 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. Business
  3. Profit

In a literal sense, sustainability is about creating a system of permanence. When determining if something is sustainable, you're asking: is this project, product or service a replicable component of a system that can last forever? Sustainable cryptocurrencies do not exist within that framework.

But most things are not sustainable. In this period of growth centered around sustainable systems, it is more worthwhile to focus on what projects are building the future and how they are framing themselves to fit within the mold of a more sustainable future.

Here are 10 cryptocurrencies I think are trying to be more sustainable.

Dig deeper ➝ 5 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. Business
  3. Profit

If you want to decarbonize the economy, carbon offsets don't work. Here's why.

Despite doubling in price the last 18 months, carbon offset prices are cheap (relative to the cost of reducing emissions). Carbon offsets should and will be much more expensive. For now, because they're so cheap, carbon credits act more like a marketing tool than a social good.

The little secret?

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
  4. Thinking

The scoop: I just drove from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. I learned a lot about America along the way.

Some key highlights from rural America:

  • Galena has hundreds of storefronts in the middle of rural Western Illinois
  • Badlands National Park is in South Dakota but looks like a white Mars
  • There are job shortages for hourly workers from coast to coast. It is tangible.
  • Counties are more significant than states. Remove all stereotypes.
  • Ethical and sustainable agriculture is the most important thing in the world.

Dig deeper → 5 min

  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Planet

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its sixth assessment report on the state of climate science.

The latest report from the UN-sponsored body spoke of humanity's "unequivocal" contribution to climate change. Media headlines followed with phrases like "code red", "catastrophe", "frightening", "hell", paired with images of burning forests.

Humans may be screwed, but here's why I'm still optimistic about Earth's future.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Lifestyle
  2. People
  3. Thinking
In this post, we break down some key terms and definitions in the sustainability space for beginners. This is a basic guide for confusing jargon and hot buzzwords, shaped into easy, digestible talking points. If you have any recommendations for new terms in Sustainability 101, contact us or comment.
  1. Climate Change
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Planet
  4. Science

The scoop: Two billionaires flew into space this week, neither of which contributed to scientific research. We want to know... how much carbon does a space plane emit?

Key talking points:

  • traditional rocket fuel depletes the ozone, but bezos used a liquid form of hydrogen and oxygen that is more sustainable.
  • one atmospheric scientist reported that bezos's rocket emitted nothing more than "water and some combustion products".

Bottom line on billionaires in space: It's not necessarily a climate problem, but the world is in no shape to spend that much money on vanity projects.

Dig deeper → 1 min

  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Planet
  3. Science
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The scoop: Tesla is probably the most famous and influential inventor/scientist you never heard of.

A few things Tesla did:

  1. In 1904, Tesla invented an efficient bladeless turbine.
  2. Tesla proposed electric power generation through geothermal, solar and wind energy.
  3. Tesla speculated on the existence of the ionosphere years before we discovered it.

Bottom line: Tesla imagined the world in many ways more like a philosopher than a scientist. But his scientific mind was as infallible as any. One thing is for sure: the modern world would be far behind without Nikola Tesla.

Dig deeper → 5 min.

  1. Cities and Communities
  2. Federal
  3. People
  4. Politics and Policy

The scoop: American infrastructure is aging and the problem is two-fold. Large cities need federal funding to support ambitious projects, while small cities can't afford any new projects.

Disaster in Miami, Detroit: As the story unfolds, it appears the Surfside condo tower likely collapsed from deteriorating infrastructure. In the Midwest, Detroit suffered from unprecedented rain, but also decades of underinvestment.

Rising cost of construction: US infrastructure rebuilds are extremely expensive, 6th highest in the world. Despite that, we dedicate a lower percentage of our GDP to infrastructure than the EU or China.

One solution: Prioritize domestic infrastructure projects over foreign interventionism to fund new projects. Don't just use deficit money to fund it. In fact, money alone will not be sufficient to ensure new construction is a success.

Successful federal projects require careful planning, strategic management and people-first politics. America needs to rebuild itself bearing both today's economy and future economies in mind. It's important we don't forget either.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Business
  2. Business
  3. Profit

This week, I had the chance to sit down with Madison Rifkin, founder of Mount. Mount is a SaaS platform that enables private property (think airbnb) to launch, track and monetize their guest amenities. Those amenities can include things like bikes and e-scooters.

Mount allows travelers to use more sustainable modes of short distance travel in place of ubers or car rentals. And it accomplishes this without causing a scooter-frenzied-tourist headache for city administrators, because all of the equipment is completely owned and controlled by the host.

If you'd like to learn more about Mount and how they're disrupting the hospitality industry, check out the full Q&A below.

Check out our full interview.

  1. Federal
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy
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The scoop: El Salvador announced that Bitcoin is now legal tender. Citizens can pay taxes with it and stuff.

Why it matters: El Salvador is the first country to recognize a cryptocurrency as a legal form of currency. This marks a major shift toward government's view of decentralized financial systems, and a potential shift away from central banks.

The energy problem: We all know Bitcoin has an energy problem. To combat that, El Salvador plans to use geothermal energy from its volcanoes to produce cheap, clean energy for bitcoin mining. Let's see if they can build sophisticated infrastructure to match pent-up demand.

Bottom line: In the rush to make bets on the future of finance, governments around the world are responding with crypto plans for citizens.

Question: Will this push for legal forms of cryptocurrency help or hurt its climate impact in the long-run?

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Energy
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Planet
  4. Water

10 reasons why seaweed farms are both sustainable and practical:

  1. Seaweed farms require no land.
  2. Seaweed farms are quite efficient, and can be harvested for commercial use within 90 days.
  3. Seaweed farms by-pass negative side-effects like deforestation or pesticide-use.
  4. Seaweed farms work in harmony with surrounding wildlife.
  5. Seaweed farms don't interfere with boats or ships, and create economic opportunities where none exist.
  6. Harvesting seaweed requires very little biofuel; it is a scalable process.
  7. Seaweed has multiple uses: it can produce both food and fuel.
  8. Seaweed is biodegradable, unlike solar panels and wind turbines that require heavy metals and create waste.
  9. Seaweed yields 30x more energy per acre than biofuel land crops like soy or corn.
  10. Only 2% of the fertile ocean is covered by kelp forests, so there is much more room to grow.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Energy and Environment
  2. Planet
  3. Science
  4. Uncategorized
  5. Water

The scoop: Jersey Shore has clean water compared to many parts of the country, but certain beaches still test unsafe for swimming more than 40% of the time.

Key causes of water contamination:

  • outdated sewage systems
  • overdevelopment of beachfronts
  • factory farming spillovers
  • storm runoff

Bottom line: Jersey Shore water was much dirtier 30 or 40 years ago. But some Jersey Shore towns still need serious help improving their water infrastructure. Read below to learn how they can fix that.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Brands
  2. Better Business
  3. Business
  4. Profit
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Big picture: GM announced plans to release an electric Hummer in 2023. It got me thinking, is it time to make the switch to electric vehicles?

Benefit of electric vehicles:

  1. Lower carbon footprint... social impact ✓
  2. Lower maintenance costs... convenience factor ✓
  3. Tax credits... financial incentive ✓

Cost of electric vehicles:

  1. EVs require minerals like cobalt and lithium to function. Mineral mining is a tough industry with poor standards in developing countries like Bolivia and Chile. Organizations are working to change that.
  2. Electric vehicles have a limited driving range compared to their gas cousins. You may find yourself charging up more than usual.
  3. High sticker prices: The average price of a new electric vehicle is almost double the price of a gas car.
  4. Limited amount of charging stations: this is a tricky one, because there are still more charging stations per EV on the road than there are gas stations for gas cars. Unless you go on a road trip, most of your charging will probably be at home anyway.

Bottom line: With billions of dollars flowing in, electric vehicles are not only here to stay, they are booming.

If you 1) need a car in your life 2) want to be a part of a cleaner future and 3) can afford the extra monthly cost (for now), then making a switch to electric vehicles is the right thing to do.

Dig deeper ➝ 3 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy
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The scoop: Overpopulation is a myth... because Jack Ma and Elon Musk said so. On a more serious note, a population collapse is more likely than an overpopulated planet.

Some talking points for the dinner table:

  1. Overcrowded cities ≠ overcrowded planet. The entire world population can fit in the state of Texas with the same population density as Manhattan.
  2. Lopsided populations will inevitably occur in modern advanced nations. That means young workers will be unable to support aging populations, causing natural population declines.
  3. 'Malthusian traps' refer to inevitable food shortages as populations grow. Either Malthus was right and some of us go hungry (as in we don't need to artificially halt population growth), or he's wrong and the population keeps growing sustainably through innovation.

Bottom line: The Earth has plenty to offer for 9 billion mouths. And a sustained population decline due to lower fertility rates is already becoming a realistic outcome. We just need to spread out more.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Energy
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Land
  4. Planet
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Big picture

  • If all sunlight received by Northern Africa converted into solar energy, it could power all of Europe more than 1000 times over.
  • Concentrated solar power (CSP) technology can use lenses and mirrors to store large amounts of solar heat. 
  • Tunisian transcontinental transmission of photovoltaic power (PV) and CSP prove this concept.
  • PV is more reliable for decentralized plants to power rural regions in Africa.

Between the lines

  • To better understand how a CSP plant works, check out the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California’s Mojave Desert (link below)
  • Desert solar panels can improve climate conditions in the region.
    • Compared to sand, panels reflect lower amounts of heat to space.
    • The result: surface heating in the desert and cloud formation.
    • Changing the desert’s heat budget may increase rain, but too many panels can raise temperatures to an unproductive level. Panels are less reflective than desert soil. 

Questions to consider

  • Which companies/countries would fund the project? 
  • Who benefits most from affordable solar electricity, Africa or Europe? 
  • How can you export energy to nations inside and outside of Africa?

Why it matters

  • CSP can release energy overnight, creating a 24-hour source of energy.
  • CSP has a high initial set-up cost but has long-term advantages over traditional forms of energy generation such as hydroelectricity.

Bottom line The developing world has a unique opportunity to learn harsh lessons from 20th century economic development principles. Using natural phenomena like the Sahara Desert for solar energy or the Congo River for hydro, Africa can become the energy superpower of the future.

Dig deeper ➝ 2 min

  1. Animals
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Land
  4. Planet
  5. Science
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The scoop: 40% of insect species are at risk of extinction.

Why it matters: We need bugs to survive and thrive.

  • Pollination: Pollinators pollinate plants; we need them to keep doing that.
  • Pest control: Paradoxically, predatory and parasitic insects kill pests.
  • Decomposition: Some insects are primary or secondary decomposers. They serve an important function to clean-up animal waste.
  • Food security: Many mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians depend on bugs for food. They are a quick and easy resource for a nutritious meal.
  • Research and innovation: Technology mimics nature (think birds and planes). Researchers can observe the ethology of insects and learn new ways to innovate. An example? Ant colony optimization in computer science.

What's causing the insect decline: Habitat loss from agriculture and urbanization is the #1 driver. Agro-chemical pollutants (think pesticides), invasive species and climate change also play a role. You can check out some cool charts and figures below to learn more.

How to help: Contribute to the fight against pesticides, support or start a small farm, and educate others about the importance of insects. A more positive perception of 'bug people' can also lead to change.

Bottom line: We need bugs to survive, yet insect populations are on the decline. This issue deserves more recognition.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Animals
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
  4. Thinking
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The report: A 2016 study of over 8,000 threatened or near-threatened species found that over-exploitation and agricultural activity posed a much greater threat to biodiversity than climate change.

Why it matters: Climate change is long-term and abstract. But it also gets all the breaking news coverage. In reality, harsh trends like deforestation and poaching pose immediate threats to wildlife. They need urgent attention, too.

These tangible problems deserve similar attention to carbon emissions. Most ESG funds pour cash into (trendy) clean energy while critical species face extinction from other causes.

Sustainable suggestion: Environmental solutions should be more well-rounded. How can we work more cooperatively with intersecting threats like wildfire risk mitigation and ecological restoration, for example.

A forestry organization may want to clean-up deadwood to prevent harsher wildfires, but a conservation group will sue them for cutting down a sacred forest. A conservation group may want to support hunting an invasive species , but an animal rights group will publicly condemn them.

Organizations with differing philosophies should work more closely through coalitions and associations to understand their perspectives.

Bottom line: Climate change is important, and intersects with basically every ecological issue. Not arguing we should take it less seriously. But that behemoth threat will be much easier to manage if we knock off smaller issues that we see, touch and feel.

We need smarter farming, more responsible animal agriculture, accountability for commercial hunting, fishing and logging. We need more stringent land protection in sensitive areas of the developing world. It's as important as climate change.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Climate Change
  2. Planet
  3. Science
  4. Water

A scientific process called desalination could help solve a looming water crisis.

With a higher demand for freshwater, a growing population will continue to pressure natural freshwater resources. Today, 1 in 9 people already lack access to safe water. If current water consumption trends persist, the demand for water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030.

Only 0.7% of Earth’s water is readily accessible as freshwater and 96.5% of it is saltwater. Through the process of desalination, scientists can turn saltwater into safe, drinking water. This process is either thermal-based (solar desalination) or membrane-based (reverse osmosis).

Why not implement desalination worldwide? There are environmental and economic challenges. For example, brine, the concentrated salt byproduct of desalination plants, is known to disrupt ocean ecosystems. But path to more sustainable alternatives exist.

If global water scarcity worsens, sustainable desalination plants can help provide fresh, potable water to vulnerable populations across the world.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. Business
  3. Profit
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The scoop: Biking connects billions of people from around the world. It can be a great tool to reduce personal carbon footprints too. But not all bike companies focus on ethics and sustainability.

The manufacturing problem: Since the 2000s, most bikes are manufactured in Asia, where workers’ rights are less transparent. It is difficult to track worker conditions in these parts of the world.

Steel requires energy: Metal itself can be sustainable, but certain forms of steel require lots of energy to extrapolate. It is important to look for sustainably-sourced steel.

Read below for a full list of ethical bike manufacturers.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
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The scoop: After spending a few summers commercial landscaping, I learned a thing or two about what to do and what to avoid if you care about the environment. Landscaping can be complementary to surrounding wildlife, or totally intrusive, depending on your strategy.

The key to sustainable landscaping: 1) Reduce open, unused space 2) Keep grass above 3 inches 3) The lusher the better 4) Use native plants, check for invasive ones 5) Maximize what you have, your yard can be largely self-sustaining.

Bottom line: You can work with your landscaper or do it yourself. Creating a sustainable landscaping strategy does not require additional work. In fact, if done right, it should require less maintenance. You just need a little research and attention to detail if you want it to look good too.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
Gardening can be as simple as putting a seed in the ground and watering it. But we tend to overcomplicate it. Many get discouraged when plants don’t grow properly. Looking for some quick garden wins? Here are 5 easy edible plants you can grow for all the gardening beginners out there.
  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
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The scoop: A compost pile is an eco-friendly, efficient way to maximize your garden’s potential. And it’s super easy to set-up and maintain.

Step 1: Pick a location, choose how to store it. Choosing a spot for your compost depends on where you live. If you end up putting it in a bin, poke some holes and cut out the bottom.

Step 2: Collect, collect, and collect more waste. Make it a habit to add organic materials to your compost. See below for a full list of compostable (and non-compostable) items.

Step 3: Wait, use, and maintain. After a few months, you will be dripping in black gold! Once your compost is set up, keep adding more materials to maintain it.

Dig deeper ➝ 3 min

  1. Lifestyle
  2. People
  3. Thinking

Cue the Billy Joel music... I'm movin' out. The limits of urban confinement are undeniable. The Suez Canal crisis is the latest excuse to leave big cities and invest in flyover country.

I've spent the past year exposing unsustainable lifestyles in major US cities. Urban efficiency in energy and transportation is now overshadowed by the literal garbage required to live in unnatural environments. Fewer people are commuting to cities. Can't make that argument anymore.

Plus, sustainable energy, agriculture, and transportation are more affordable than ever.

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Better Brands
  2. Better Business
  3. Better Markets
  4. Business
  5. Profit
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The scoop: NFTs went mainstream. Now more people are starting to realize Ethereum has a sustainable energy problem. There is a solution.

Not all blockchains are the same: Bitcoin uses about 1% of the world’s electricity. Ethereum is the second largest coin and runs on a similar model as Bitcoin. Neither are energy efficient.

Still, blockchain technology as a whole operates under many different consensus algorithms. Bitcoin and Ethereum’s proof-of-work model is just one version.

Sustainable proposals: Convert mining facilities to use more renewable forms of energy. That’s a good place to start.

More effectively, big coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum can operate using a proof-of-stake model to be more sustainable. This would allow fewer nodes (computers) to validate transactions on the public ledger and increase the energy efficiency of their blockchains.

Finally, emerging coins should look to more efficient consensus algos like Ripple as a model for sustainable crypto. That would propel the industry forward.

Bottom line: Progress is happening. There are existing solutions. The blockchain industry just needs a little nudge to do better.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

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Here's how to transform yourself into a minimalist:

  1. Track your purchases and categorize them. I break my purchases into "needs" (basic modern survival stuff), "boosts" (productive buys), and "luxuries" (extra things that make life more enjoyable).
  2. Think before you buy, think after. Why am I about to make this purchase? Now imagine making the purchase, how would you feel after one week, one month, one year?
  3. Take responsibility for a product's end-of-life. The trash can or recycling bin should be the last option. Can you share it, borrow it, sell it, repurpose it, thrift it, make it?

Bottom line: 'Less is more' stands the test of time; when you practice minimalism in an intentional way, everyone benefits. If you do shop, always keep ethics and savings in mind.

Dig deeper → 4 min


  1. Better Brands
  2. Better Business
  3. Business
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The scoop: All plant milk is more sustainable than dairy milk. But that doesn't mean all plant milks are sustainable.

SR's favorites:

  • Pea milk: protein-rich, noninvasive crop, good taste.
  • Hemp/flax seed milk: nutritious and low emission-based.
  • Hazelnut milk: tastes great in a cup of coffee, pollinates naturally, grows on trees.

Bottom line: Every company has a different process, but we can draw conclusions about the sustainability of certain crops. As consumer interest in plant milk keeps growing, it's important to distinguish good labels from bad labels.

The best best thing you can do is make your own plant milk at home. Just take your favorite organic, fair-trade nut or seed and mix it with water in a blender. Details in the article!

Dig deeper → 6 min

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The scoop: Microplastics can be found in every crevice of the Earth. As they become more prevalent, they are more likely to impact human health.

Top ways to avoid microplastics:

  • Filtered tap water > bottled water.
  • Shellfish = microplastic.
  • Eat more fresh food, less takeout.

Zoom out: As the global production of plastic goes up, there will be more plastic to deal with. Research on the impact of microplastics on human health is still developing. Better to be safe than sorry.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Energy
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. Land
  4. Planet

The scoop: Below-freezing temperatures blasted the southern US this week, prompting rolling blackouts over the past few days.

Key takeaways:

  • Texas was not prepared to deal with the energy demand spikes.
  • Natural gas & coal were not sufficient, renewables failed in freezing temperatures.
  • America still needs a cocktail of energy supply to meet increasing consumer demand.

Zoom out: The Texas energy security issue is something every American should pay attention to. How can we carefully adopt a renewable-first economy without compromising reliability?

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Better Business
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  4. Science
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The scoop: Bill Gates published a new book about climate change. Why are we praising a tech entrepreneur pretending to be a scientist and public health official?

Why it matters: I think people like Bill Gates make everyday people more suspicious of actual science. Gates should step aside and let real scientists do the talking. Because as it turns out, he isn't always right.

My proposal: Let's praise and highlight actual climatologists dedicated to the field. He's not even a professional writer.

We need to build communication platforms for researchers, doctors, and scientists to bridge the gap between complex subject matter and public skepticism. Businessmen like Bill Gates only widen the gap (imo).

Bottom line: Let's hear the talking points not from some obscure monolithic gospel, but science-backed, distinguished talking points from recognizable human faces.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Cities and Communities
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. People
  4. Politics and Policy
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The scoop: 600 gallons of oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay yesterday from a Chevron refinery.

Some notes on the disaster:

  • Solutions exist, restoration efforts are more innovative, why does this keep happening?
  • Media tends to direct focus on corporations and federal government, but what role do local politics play in preventing environmental disasters?

Food for thought:

Looking back at the Chevron oil spill of 2021, we should be asking ourselves:

  1. Why did the oil spill happen?
  2. What actors played a role in this disaster?
  3. What steps can these actors take to prevent it from ever happening again?

Bottom line: If the answer is primarily political, sadly, it may not happen fast enough to stop the next disaster.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Doing
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The scoop: Don't wait for the next big world event to prepare yourself. How can you make you and your family more 'disaster-proof'?

Some disaster-proof tools:

  1. Practice the 50/30/20 rule. Spend 50% on 'needs, 30% on wants, save 20%.
  2. Utilize your 5 PM - 12 AM. Build a side hustle or passive income outside of your day job.
  3. Network, network, network. The best time to network is when you think you don't have to. Always present your best self and treat everyone equally.
  4. Make a strategic relocation. If you're thinking about making a move, do it when things are mellow. Don't wait for the next big event to pack your bags.
  5. Learn new skills. It can be professional, it can be personal. You can be 20, you can be 60. Just learn something new every day, week or month.

These goals are not perfect for everyone. BUT at least one or two is a tangible goal you can strive for. Set quantitative targets with time intervals.

Humans are only as sustainable as our ability to survive in harmony with nature. Invest in your survivability.

Dig deeper ➡ 3 min

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The scoop: Home gardening is a safe, simple way to take climate action in your backyard (or even in your kitchen!). You can also save yourself some $$, and get some much needed peace of mind.

What's wrong with the grocery store?

The industrial agricultural system takes a large toll on the environment. Whether cutting down trees for more farmland, or using fertilizer to increase crop yields, Big Ag is unsustainable in the long-term. Agriculture causes about 80% of worldwide deforestation efforts, with devastating environmental consequences.

Environmental benefits of home gardening: While home gardening won't change industrial agriculture, it can still have plenty of local environmental benefits on 1) your property and 2) its surrounding ecosystem.

Economic and health benefits: Studies show that being surrounded by more greenery can actually reduce stress and improve mental health. If your vegetation also grows well, you can save a few trips (and dollars) with some home-grown produce. If large vegetation is planted outdoors, you can even reduce electric bill consumption over time.

Bottom line: By expanding generalized access to indoor/outdoor gardening, we can teach more people to take decentralized climate action. It will also support more harmony with people and planet.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Brands
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The scoop: Is Beyond Meat sustainable? The plant-based protein maker has turned veganism mainstream. But they need to be more transparent.

Some talking points:

  • Beyond Meat packaging needs work. Their flagship product (Beyond Burger) is not compostable.
  • Beyond Meat uses 99% less water, 93% less land, 90% fewer greenhouse gases, and 46% less energy than a traditional beef burger.
  • Pea protein is a sustainable protein choice, but they should prioritize sustainable farming > organic farming.
  • A report from 2018 criticized Beyond Meat's transparency around sustainability reporting, giving them a 0%.

Bottom line: Beyond Meat needs to revisit its supply chain, but they are on the upward trajectory for both profitability and sustainability. Quality company that just needs to keep improving. Beyond Meat is on its way to being sustainable.

Dig deeper 6 min


  1. Cities and Communities
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  4. Politics and Policy

Biden re-signed the Paris accord this week. Like I wrote about last week, the next four years will have major implications about the role of federal governance in climate mitigation.

Here at SR, we don’t endorse politicians but we certainly criticize them. Expect us to watch this administration closely and keep you up-to-date on America’s progress on environment-related issues.

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The scoop: Uphold, a digital trading platform, released a digital carbon credit coin called UPCO2.

On a mission to democratize carbon: Think of corporations and governments as the gatekeepers of carbon credit markets. Using blockchain technology, UPCO2 hopes to ease the barrier to entry for ordinary people. UPCO2 can also help standardize carbon prices on a global level using voluntary carbon credits (VCUs).

Should you buy one? UPCO2 coins help reforestation efforts in areas like the Amazon, Congo Basin, and Indonesia. Carbon prices (like any commodity) are pretty volatile, but I predict durable demand for this asset. Everyday people want more ways to take climate action. This is one.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Federal
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  3. Politics and Policy
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The scoop: With control of Congress and the White House, the Democrats have the weight of the world take serious climate action. If they fail, perhaps government is incapable of getting the job done.

Some talking points:

  • Any climate plan taken in the next few years should be targeted at institutions, not individuals.
  • We're looking for stringent environmental protections laws, and harsher rules on corporate carbon emissions. Let's not damage SMB's either, please.
  • ^In that light, if there was a vaccine-like waitlist for taking climate action, corporations should be at the top of the list. Let's get them out of the way.

Bottom line: The legacy of federal governance (fair or not) lies in the hands of an aging Biden. If his administration fails to bring about tangible change, the distrust of government may be irrevocable.

Dig deeper --> 1 min

  1. Lifestyle
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The scoop: Sustainability in 2020 was about transition. Let's make this decade about change (not the World Economic Forum kind... the ordinary people kind).

Top sustainability trends in 2020:

  1. Economics merge with environment
    • Rise of ESG superfunds
    • Corporate-social sustainability skyrockets
    • Individual sustainable investing spikes
  2. Climate awareness goes mainstream
    • Data showed most Americans now concerned about environmental issues.
    • Climate entered national politics.
    • Animals gained more rights - backed by science as much as emotion.
  3. Climate community can't stop fighting with itself. Here are different type of activists:
    • The optimist "Don't worry, science & tech will get us out of this mess!"
    • The concerned consumer "How can we blame corporations if we keep buying their products??"
    • The concerned citizen "The problem isn't with consumers, it's with citizens. You need to vote to make real change!"
    • The institutionalist "It doesn't matter what individuals do, it's governments and corporations that are to blame."
    • The doomsday-er "We are screwed no matter what, Kathy. Start preparing for the next Ice Age."
    • The compromiser "I think Biden made good cabinet choices for climate."
    • The radicalist "If you drive a gas car, I realistically can't spend Thanksgiving with you."

Bottom line: 2020 was a mixed year for sustainability, but we are bullish long-term.

Dig deeper → 7 min

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The scoop: Electronics produce millions of material waste every year. Here are some simple ways to recycle or repurpose your old gear.

Recycling electronics:

  • You can dispose of old batteries, computers, tvs, and phones at major retailers like Home Depot, Best Buy, Lowe's and Staples. Use a search engine to find one near you.
  • Make sure your device is shot before recycling it - you may be able to donate it, sell it online, or trade it in for a new device.
  • Always back-up old files and do a factory reset before selling, recycling or donating a device.

Bottom line: Being responsible with e-waste is an easy way to dampen your footprint and help under-served communities at the same time.

Dig deeper ➝ 4 min.

  1. Federal
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy

Below are top 10 head-scratchers for the so-called 'COVID-19 Relief Package'.

  1. Despite spending 15 years and billions of dollars, American counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan are ineffective (Foreign Aid)
  2. The Fish and Wildlife Service is subsidizing yachting (Environment, Energy,Science)
  3. NIH paid to find out if hot tubbing can lower stress (Health Care)
  4. Using CARES Act funds, the FAA renovated a taxiway at the airport on Nantucket Island most often used by private jets (Miscellaneous)
  5. NIH paid researchers to interview San Franciscans about how they use edible cannabis (Health Care)
  6. FEMA paid for test tubes for COVID tests but received contaminated mini soda bottles (Miscellaneous)
  7. NIH paid researchers to develop methods to stop grown adults from binge-watching television (Health Care)
  8. DOD lost more than 100drones over Afghanistan (Military)
  9. USAID is open to creating a venture capital fund in Bosnia & Herzegovina for bad investments (Foreign Aid)
  10. NSF ran lizards on a treadmill (Environment, Energy, Science)
  1. Doing
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The scoop: Individuals need basic survival skills to lead a more sustainable lifestyle.

Ways to be more independent + sustainable:

  • Grow your own food
  • Make something from scratch (DIY)
  • Learn one new hard skill every "x" (42 examples with how-to videos below)
  • Rescue an animal
  • Make your property inclusive to wildlife
  • Stop buying random shit
  • Choose fresh air over screen time (at least once a day)

Bottom line: If you understand how to be independent, you can seamlessly be your best sustainable self. If you are dependent on institutions in your everyday life, you are not a sustainable human. Sorry, not sorry.

Dig deeper → 5 min

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Founder story: Elon Musk (co-founder) is a controversial figure with a complicated history. But he is a forward-thinker that can help drive a more sustainable future.

Industry standards: Automakers have a history of poor environmental standards. The manufacturing process requires loads of resources, equipment and infrastructure. Tesla has a $500bn+ market cap, so we understand that complete sustainability is difficult to accomplish.

Materials: Modern cars use metals (aluminum in common), silica, rubber, plastic, rubber, soy, wheat, rice… to name a few. In terms of sustainability, the lithium ion battery is most concerning.

Tesla's current battery uses cobalt... linked to human rights violations in the Congo. Cobalt also makes the vehicle more expensive. Tesla is currently working to remove cobalt from their supply chain.

Ethics: To hit ambitious production goals, Tesla overworked domestic workers in a pretty ugly way. That adds to their controversy in the Congo. Not a good look when a billionaire does so well and you find out workers were unhappy.

Bottom line: Tesla has sustainability tied to its mission, and they are doing awesome things in the solar energy space. Still, their current business model is not sustainable. Wait until Tesla removes cobalt, improves worker conditions and reduces vehicle prices to make an ethical purchase.

Dig deeper → 5 min.

  1. Better Brands
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The scoop: Hershey is accused of avoiding to pay premiums on cocoa deals that would help alleviate farmer poverty.

Hershey versus West Africa: Hershey denies the allegations. The lvory Coast and Ghana, who make up 2/3 of the world's cocoa production, are preventing Hershey from using sustainability schemes in West Africa.

These schemes allow brands to market their product (in this case chocolate) as fair-trade, ethical, etc.

A broader point about corporate sustainability: Hershey's (alleged) loophole attempt is all too common in the age of crony capitalism.

Corporate sustainability seeks long-term profits by aligning business models with healthier environments and more prosperous economies. Working around basic premiums that keep hard-working cocoa farmers out of deep poverty is not a sustainable business model.

Bottom line: West African cocoa regulators are sticking to their guns on this issue. I don't think they're bluffing. Recommendation: avoid Hershey products until they provide a more transparent response.

List of popular Hershey products to avoid this holiday season:

  1. Hershey's (duh)
  2. Butterfingers
  3. Reese's
  4. Pay Day
  5. Jolly Rancher
  6. Twizzler's
  7. York Peppermint
  8. Breath Savers
  9. Ice Breakers
  10. Heath Bar
  11. Rolo
  12. The Whatchamacallit Bar
  13. Take 5
  14. Milk Duds
  15. Mr. Goodbar
  16. Almond Joy
  17. Whoppers
  18. Kit Kat
  19. Good & Plenty
  20. Pirate's Booty
  21. SkinnyPop
  22. Krave Jerky

Dig deeper → 1 min

  1. Business
  2. Good Reads
  3. Profit

Curious about running a sustainable small business? Once a fringe business strategy, sustainability has become a prerequisite for any new business hoping to succeed in the long-term. Whether you own a pizza shop, landscaping company, real-estate firm or just starting out, prioritizing sustainability is an easy and effective way to distinguish your small business and ensure long-term stability.

This guide will help you adapt, react and plan for the wave of industry trends that prioritize social impact in a post-pandemic world.

  1. Cities and Communities
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  5. Thinking
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The scoop: The World Bank projects extreme poverty to rise for the first time since the 1990s, while 270 million people are at risk of starvation (2x higher than 2019).

Lockdowns and inequality: 20+ million Americans are still unemployed. 160,000 US business have closed. Despite that, Amazon, Wal-Mart and Costco (for example) are posting record high online sales.

What can we do? Go beyond SBA loans and stimulus checks. We should like, actually be doing everything we can to keep small business owners afloat.

Local coffee shops > Starbucks, Thrift > Marshall's, Art galleries for Home Decor > Amazon.

Bottom line: We can clean up this institutional mess by creating a new structure around congressional term limits, monopoly break-ups, whistleblower support, and free speech... or we can allow the same actors to weave the world we've grown to love and hate.

Dig deeper → 3 min

  1. Federal
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  3. Politics and Policy
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The scoop: Biden vowed to sign the Paris agreement in his first day in office. As an environmentalist, I think it's all hype no action.

Why Paris no bien:

  1. It's a pledge, not a policy. There's no binding enforcement mechanism. So a country like Russia or Mexico can agree to it, but it doesn't hold them accountable.
  2. It lets China off the hook. China, the #1 carbon emitter in the world, can hide behind the US if we re-join it. If the US led the world on climate policy without Paris, it would expose China's energy reality (they are slated to make up nearly half of global coal demand in 2024).

Bottom line: We get it, Trump sucks and he left the Paris agreement so the Paris agreement must be amazing. Well, the Paris agreement is ultimately not that significant in terms of climate action. Policy reform > pretty pictures

Dig deeper → 2 min

  1. Better Markets
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Big picture: Every influential organization and leader around the world (besides Trump) is telling us to Build Back Better. What are we trying to fix?

A little context: History shows how major global resets can fail poorer nations. Bretton Woods perpetuated inequality behind the veil of humanitarian activism. If the status quo changes the status quo, did the status quo really change?

Some talking points:

  1. Governments caused the COVID debacle, not the people. Yet, the people face the consequences.
  2. Governments (and international organizations), perpetrators of the broken system, want to fix it.
  3. Suggestions from big orgs are abstract and ambiguous, rather than tangible like term limits.

Bottom line: As we watch world leaders discuss recovery options, let’s prioritize tangible change rather than utopian fantasies.

Dig deeper → 2 min

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The scoop: the IMF published a statement calling the pandemic recovery plan a ‘new Bretton Woods moment’.

What is Bretton Woods? Bretton Woods was an international conference that took place in 1944 with the goal of preventing another World War by establishing a new international monetary framework.

The legacy of Bretton Woods: Although the agreement no longer serves a purpose in the modern world, its effects are still being felt; there is more negotiation between nations both economically and politically and the global market is more interconnected than ever before.

Lessons for coronavirus, globalization:

1. Make politics people-oriented

Leaders and policy-makers of international organizations are motivated by self-interest and private sector pressure. Likewise, they propose policies that favor private interest and hurt the average worker.

2. Make international finance fair and equal

Loan conditionalities from the IMF are often attached without serious consideration for the interest of the borrowing nation or its citizens. Recommendations by the World Bank and IMF don't always resolve economic hardships for developing nations.

Bottom line: If this is a new Bretton Woods moment, perhaps we can learn a thing or two about our convoluted past of international do-good. Rather than just hit the reset button, we should consider how poverty alleviation requires more than a paycheck.

Dig deeper → 8 min

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The scoop: Last week, Ripple’s CEO made an ambitious commitment to go carbon net-zero by 2030 in collaboration with conservation Rocky Mountain Institute and REBA, and pressured other crypto companies to do the same.

Talking points:

  1. Unlike Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP) was built with a finite supply (100 billion) at its inception, making it easier to control mining activities and mitigate its environmental footprint.
  2. Compared to Bitcoin’s 4.51 billion lightbulb hours needed to mine it, the XRP Ledger uses just 79,000.
  3. A lot needs to happen to make do on that claim, but Ripple is the first crypto looking to go carbon net-zero, and they have a plan (see below).

Bottom line: I don’t know if Ripple, Ethereum, and Bitcoin will one day replace Euros, Dollars and Yuan. With that said, why not bet a dollar on the possibility that they one day could?

Dig deeper → 3 min.

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  4. Tech

Why are wildfires detrimental to our environment?

  • Burn millions of acres of forests each year; trees are critical to (1) absorbing greenhouse gases to lessen the effects of climate change and (2) preserving biodiversity.
  • Kill and displace wildlife.
  • Disrupt water cycles and soil fertility.
  • Endanger lives and livelihood of local communities.

How are drones being used to fight wildfires?

  • Provide real-time support on the ground for firefighters to improve safety.
  • Map weather patterns to prevent spreading of the fire to mitigate environmental destruction.

What are the benefits of a drone compared to a traditional aircraft?

  • Safer since you don’t need a pilot to operate it.
  • More versatile since a drone can fly in poor conditions and hard to reach spaces.
  • More accurate by using GPS and imaging technologies to generate a “smart map.”

Bottom line

More recently, the use of drones for fire prevention in the U.S. has been gaining support from the federal government. Regulatory hurdles are starting to lessen. Plus, the civil-use of drones is now more widely accepted.

Drones are becoming a key technological advancement in fighting wildfires. They can not only protect our communities, but they can also mitigate the environmental impact caused by fires.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Doing
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  4. Thinking

The current tradition:

  1. Lot'sa pumpkin picking: American farmers produce billions of pounds worth of pumpkin every year. When they end up in the garbage, they decompose in landfills and emit methane/
  2. Cheap costume wearing: Costumes from Big Retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart use cheap materials and labor. Many people only wear their costumes once or twice before throwing it out.
  3. Kids candy eating: Candy sales are up 13% this year despite the pandemic. Candy wrappers are are often improperly disposed of, and many treats use harmful ingredients like palm oil (causes deforestation).

Proposed solutions for Hallogreen:

  1. If you're going to buy a pumpkin, eat it (or let the squirrels eat it).
  2. Reuse, create or thrift a costume.
  3. Don't eat candy because it's basically corn starch with sugar and food dye. If you are sugar-crazed (not judging you), just make sure you dispose of it properly by checking for recycling labels and washing out food oils before throwing it in the blue bin.

Bottom line: Let's use 2020 as an opportunity to reflect and reform wasteful traditions by making this October Hallogreen.

Dig deeper → 2 min

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  3. Energy
  4. Energy and Environment
  5. Profit

The International Energy Agency (IEA) rolled out its annual World Energy Outlook report with a bombshell. Solar power is expected to replace coal as the #1 source of energy production by 2025.

The backstory: In the last few years, governments and corporations flooded billions of dollars into the renewable energy space. Wind & solar energy have become cheaper than gas & oil as a result. It is now easier to manufacture and install solar panels than ever before.

By the numbers:

  • The IEA thinks 80% of new power generation will come from renewables.
  • We need to boost up investment in the energy grid by at least $460 billion in 2030 to hit our goals.
  • The global economy will return to pre-covid levels in 2021, but 7% smaller over long term compared to 2019 projections.

Between the lines: China alone will account for 40% of global growth for electricity demand over the next ten years. Southeast Asia and Africa will see major demand increases for energy over the next few decades.

Meanwhile, IEA's report found that global CO2 emissions will not return to 2019 levels until 2027, due to energy mix with renewables and coal's big drop in 2020.

Zoom out: We need a structural transformation of the global energy sector to hit on sdg's (those UN-sanctioned green goals we keep talking about), and that requires a lot of clean capital stock.

The report makes it clear that low growth of emissions ≠ a climate change solution. It's a means to an end.

Bottom line: Solar will replace coal as king sometime this decade.

Dig deeper → <2 min

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  4. Thinking

The scoop: The world uses a lot of materials to produce a lot of waste.

By the numbers:

  1. Asia accounts for 60% of mineral extraction and 67% of freshwater use.
  2. The world disperses 28.7 billion tons of fossil fuels and biomass energy.
  3. Europe, Asia and N. America account for 78% of fossil fuel output.

Key takeaways:

  1. It takes <resources to produce >materials.
  2. A lot of freshwater, an increasingly scarce resource, turns into wastewater every year.
  3. Most raw materials and natural resources end up in the land, air or water.

Bottom line: The current production process outweighs Earth's production capacity. To solve that, we need to maximize the life-cycle of products, treat natural resources carefully, and minimize waste.

Dig deeper → <1 min.

  1. Doing
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Big picture: Navigating food labels that empower sustainable consumption should not be a challenging mess. We created a sustainable food shopping guide to help you navigate the label overload using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a metric. 

Why it matters: We live in a world of greenwashing and companies working to get a competitive advantage with “natural” and “sustainable labels. Our extra spending dollars should go to companies and certifiers making strides towards the Sustainable Development Goals – not those greenwashing.

Our recommendations: Overall, choose products that fit your needs and your budget. In a grocery store setting, choose third-party certified products to ensure they are meeting the standards that support sustainability. Fair Trade, American Grass-fed, and USDA Organic are reliable certification labels that have standards striving towards environmental and social sustainability.

Dig deeper → 4 min

  1. Better Markets
  2. Cities and Communities
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  4. Politics and Policy

The scoop: In 2018, global risk firm Verisk combined UN population data with their Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) and found that 84 of the 100 fastest growing cities in the world face 'extreme risk' from climate change. The remaining 14 faced fell under the 'high risk' categories.

By the numbers:

  1. 95% of the 234 cities most affected by climate change fall in Africa & Asia.
  2. 86% of the 292 'low risk' cities are located in Europe and the Americas

Between the lines:

  • The world's poorest with higher rates of urbanization = face greatest threats from climate disruption.
  • The world's most advanced economies (US, China, India, Europe) account for half of the world's carbon emissions.
  • The International Monetary Fund estimates that 8 out of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2018 and 2023 will be African countries, posing serious risk to companies operating in the region.

Bottom line: There is a clear correlation between climate change vulnerability and population growth. This is occurring in the fast growing economic region of the world, making an even stronger case to invest in climate resilience. Secondly, advanced economies (as the cause but not the victim) have a moral, social and economic responsibility to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions.

  1. Federal
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  3. Politics and Policy

The scoop: The world witnessed the first ever climate change question in a US presidential debate. They spent 10 minutes on the topic.

Why it matters: Recent polls revealed 12% of likely voters considered climate change to be their #1 issue behind the economy and coronavirus.

Stuff to know: Biden suggested that foreign countries should give Brazil $20 billion to stop Amazon deforestation. The Amazon rainforest is made up of 300 billion trees and 1/5 of the world's species. Trump acknowledge anthropogenic climate change (sort of) for the first time.

Bottom line: The world is suffering from a public health disaster that has leaked into the global economy, yet voters still consider climate change a centerpiece issue. That is a sign of things to come.

Dig deeper → 3 min

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The scoop: Golf is still growing, but it needs to incorporate sustainable practices to keep trending up.

Why it matters: Golf uses 2 billion gallons of water every day, and makes up over a million acres of land in the US alone.

Our recommendations:

  1. Invest in new technologies that conserve freshwater.
  2. Take advantage of regenerative and eco-friendly management practices like limiting the use of pesticides, encouraging the growth of wild plants off the fairway, or enacting policies that treat wildlife responsibly.

Bottom line: As a major outdoor sport, golf has a serious opportunity here to capture the hearts of young athletes. As much as it will be challenge, golf and sustainability can work together very well.

Dig deeper → 2 min

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  3. Politics and Policy
  4. Thinking

The scoop: China made an announcement to the UN with plans to go carbon neutral by 2060.

What to know:

  1. China is the number one carbon emitter in the world, with more carbon emissions thn the US and Europe combined.
  2. China is still investing heavily in coal-powered plants through 2020, de-legitimizing the carbon pledge.
  3. The UN took the pledge very seriously, indicating its unwillingness to criticize Chinese climate policy.

Bottom line: China’s carbon pledge is smoke and mirrors. The announcement comes weeks before a major US election when voters are antsy. The United Nations needs to focus on human rights efforts, not tweeting celebration emojis for empty words.

Dig deeper 3 min

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What is period poverty? Inequalities related to menstruation. That includes the lack of access to sanitary products, menstrual hygiene education, toilets, hand washing facilities, etc.

Who does it affect? Students, low-income and homeless women and girls, transgender and non-binary individuals, and the imprisoned all struggle with period poverty. Girls with special needs and disabilities are also disproportionately affected.

What are the main causes?

  • Improper education― we often stigmatize menstruation.
  • Economic barriers―menstrual products are costly (and in some cases taxed).

Why is it a problem? Period poverty increases physical health risks, such as reproductive and urinary tract infections, when the proper resources are not easily accessible. This causes women to turn to unsafe substitutes. Period poverty also widens the educational and economic gap.

Periods and planet

  • In North America, about 20 billion tampons and pads go to landfills every year, and the non-organic items take at least 500 to 800 years to decompose.
  • Disposable menstrual products are the fifth most common type of waste washing up on beaches, according to a report by the European Commission
  • The manufacturing of disposable menstrual hygiene products generates a total carbon footprint of about 15 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually―the equivalent of burning about 35 million barrels of oil, according to the United Nations Environmental Program

How can we promote sustainable periods?

  • Choose reusable menstrual products (e.g., period proof underwear, menstrual cup, and reusable tampon applicators and pads)
  • Choose cotton products and support transparent brands if disposable products are necessary
  • Demand that corporations make plastic-free sanitary products

Bottom line By normalizing menstruation and destroying taboos around the natural process, we can prioritize menstrual equity policy that makes sustainable menstrual products and sanitation available for all.

Dig deeper → 4 min