People

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

Busy? Try the speed read.

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. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
  4. Water
Busy? Try the speed read.

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. Better Business
  2. Business
  3. Profit
  4. Science
  5. Thinking

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. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People

During the past year, I noticed the rise of online shopping more than ever. One day I woke up and my parents were using Amazon as much as my younger sister. I realized even socially-conscious consumers couldn't resist the convenience of big online retailers.

Then, one night on my way home from band practice I got stuck behind a garbage truck on my block. Almost every recycling item was contained in an Amazon box.

The next day, I set out to create a sustainable shop for reusables and consumables.

  1. Cities and Communities
  2. Energy and Environment
  3. People
  4. Politics and Policy
Busy? Try the speed read.

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
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
Busy? Try the speed read.

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

  1. Doing
  2. Lifestyle
  3. People
Busy? Try the speed read.

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. Cities and Communities
  2. Federal
  3. People
  4. Politics and Policy
Dig deeper to find out how Biden can build a message of unity for America…

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.

  1. Federal
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy
Busy? Try the speed read.

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
  2. People
  3. Politics and Policy
  4. Thinking
Busy? Try the speed read.

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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