Behind The Scene - L'écocentre!

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Dans ma capsule 07, je ne vous avais pas menti! J’ai bel et bien commencé ma journée avec un café…vous aurez deviné, Starbuck! Délicieux comme café! Un classique.

Ensuite, direction l’écocentre! Pour ceux qui ne connaissent pas, c’est un endroit où tu peux aller te débarrasser de tes vieux meubles, appareils électroniques, ordinateurs, etc. C’est VRAIMENT pratique comme endroit puis mes amis Mitch et Sarah étaient absolument contents d’avoir enfin plus de place dans leur petit nid d’amours! Raison de plus, tu as l’air vraiment mâle au volant d’un camion.

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Il y en a plusieurs au Québec, alors selon votre région, vous pourrez vous aussi avoir l’air d’un mâle ou si vous êtes une fille, prendre les photos des mâles.

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C’est comme un 2 dans 1 en même temps. Tu n’as pas le temps de t’entrainer. Tu es vraiment frustré de la vie? Ton chat a grafigné ton divan? Garoche le au bout de tes bras!

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Je vous encourage à visiter l’écocentre le plus près de chez vous pour votre grand plaisir et également celui de l’espace que vous allez gagner chez vous! J’ai bien trop de fun moi là. Un peu de repos s’est mérité!

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Living The Good Life

As time goes on, more of us are thinking about recycling and how to be more eco-friendly. Unfortunately, in the past, the aesthetic appeal let it down slightly. But, now as we are all much more aware of our environment we want to protect it. And now there are many designers who have created so many beautiful things for you to bring into your own home. One of these designers is Oliver Heath who helps with lighting, colour and structural changes to make a home more sustainable. He is a trusted expert, and has appeared on TV and as well as being the author of some fantastic design books such as ‘Urban Eco Chic’ and ‘Home Book’.

There is also a brilliant site called EcoCentric that offers many different home decoration, accessories and homewares that are all organic and at an affordable price. 

There are so many novel and unique items that are available now: 

  

Some really sweet place matts and coasters from Nestify Online designed by Rani Deshpande. They are made from paper, and once they have been used they can be planted to produce some beautiful wildflowers in your garden!

These are the wonderful Liqui Baglights with different prints on them that lets a warm light glow through. They also use energy saving bulbs. These bags are also on sale at Lluster (yet another link to their fab site!). Grab one while you can!

I’ve also found a brilliant site, E-side that sell all sorts of furniture and homewares that have been recycled and are eco-friendly. They are all made to a high standard and are lovely and would look great in any home. I hope these new interior design wants will become musts for every newly built home, and we will all live a much cleaner life style!

Never feel bad about ordering lionfish (they’re a brutally invasive species that has no business tearing up other marine habitats) but for the love of all that is good and true, stop being such a tourist and lay off the shark fin soup. I get that it’s a Chinese delicacy and the Jaws effect ruined you on the big mouths before you were even born, but it’s destroying one of the most crucial predators in the oceanic ecosystems of the Earth. I don’t care if you’re utilitarian or ecocentric, if you’re worried about stewardship or planetary stability, but you need to get it together. Stop. Stoooop.

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Charades

"My blog is about love, and peace, and unity; it is eco-centric, pro-sustainability, all about nature, and positive energy… Blah blah."

So, you see all that and you send to say “hey, nice blog”, just that… Aaaand, they block you!

It doesn’t matter whether it’s on tumblr, or facebook, or asbestos flaygon… It is hypocrisy! Don’t forget to say “I miss you, I’m lonely, sad, and depressed without you”

Reading notes (96-105)
  • Natural resources are referred to natural capital

  • Anthropocentric is the human view of resources or the viewing Earth’s resources as materials for human use

  • Renewable and replenishable resources can produce natural income

  • Non-renewable resources will eventually run out as they are limited

  • Fossil fuels and minerals are examples of non-renewable resources

  • Renewable and replenishable resources are being damaged by people

  • Groundwater is a resource that is constantly being polluted by people.

  • People with technocentric views feel that humans are capable of solving all the environmental problems

  • Ecocentric approach would be to use renewable resources while limiting the use of non-renewable resources

  • Value of resources change as we experience technological advances

  • Uranium for instance, was of little value before nuclear age unlike flint, which was very valuable before

  • Ecological values have no monetary value or no formal market price just like aesthetic value

  • Intrinsic value is the value of something that is not decided by whether or not its valuable to humans

  • Direct use value are goods and services that can be directly used

  • Natural resources can have recreational values : Ecotourism to places like the rainforest

  • Sustainability : Using global resources at a rate that allows natural resources to regenerate and minimize damages to the environment

  • Short term financial gain, ignorance and overpopulation are some threats to sustainability

  • Many problems have worldwide impact

  • Sustainable development refers to to development that meets the need of the present without compromising the future.  

  • It is challenging as resources are finite and it will be hard to maintain non-renewable resources

  • Stockholm declaration objective was to push countries to improve living standards without making the environmental situations worse

  • Agreements were later taken to reduce CO2 emission

  • Targets in Johannesburg were to reduce poverty and increase people’s access to safe drinking water

Blog Reflection: Where do your environmental ethics lie?

When I first went to respond to this question I thought that I was leaning towards being Ecocentric, because when the idea first pops into my mind I think that because we are destroying our resources and producing so many problems for the well-bring of our planet that we should be regarded as less important. However, thinking about it more in-depth I realize that if we had no purpose on this Earth that we would not be here in the first place. 

To me, I believe that everything on Earth has a purpose, big or small, and everyone is important. I am a Biocentric person because I think that all life is valuable and deserves to be treated respectfully. Life is a very precious thing and can be taken and destroyed very easily, to think of one species as better or more important than another is not a sufficient way of perceiving things. When making decisions that could potentially impact people vs. animals I think that anything other than equal consideration for means of life is the only way to go. 

On the other hand, I am also an ecocentric person too. Since we are such an “intelligent” (I use that word very lightly…) species we should be able to take the shorter end of the stick when it comes to making decisions that impact both our lives and the lives of organisms in the environment. We are supposed to be very well-evolved and able to adapt and think our way into making any situation easier, more productive, safer etc. where as animals like dogs or organisms like bugs and plants - if faced with the exact same situation - would be more helpless and therefore require a little bit of leeway on our part. 

I just think that if we are smart enough to be able to form an opinion of where our ethics lie then we should be smart enough to not be egotistical and selfish in being totally anthropocentric and ultimately killing many and most of the things we rely on to live.

Adjectives

I’m like..
A mix of this: galactic minded, ecocentric, earth hippie child, with a goofball personality. Fashionably and socially aware. Yet spicy and fiesty

BLOG 3- Educate Today's Youth for a Better World Tomorrow

People have varying views regarding environmental issues and how they should be resolved. Worldviews are based on how humans think the world works, what they believe their role in the environment is, and what they believe to be morally right and wrong. Answering fundamental questions concerning our existence and purpose in life generates one to form his or her worldviews. There are three large ethical ideas concerning the world: Anthropocentric, Biocentric, and Ecocentric. Anthropocentric viewers believe that humans are the center of all importance on this planet because they believe humans to be the most significant species. Biocentrism viewers believe that all living things are important and live together as members of the Earth. Ecocentric viewers believe that there are no divisions between the living and the non-living on earth. Instead this belief claims there is equality of intrinsic value among all.

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 Within these three ideas fall three main worldviews: Planetary Management, Stewardship, and Environmental Wisdom. Planetary Management worldviews consist of the notion that humans are apart from nature and can use it towards their advantage to advance and grow as the dominant species. Followers of this worldview believe that due to technology, humans will not run out of resources, economic growth is unlimited, and humanity’s success depends on how well they manage earth’s recourses for their benefit. The Stewardship worldview thinks that humans have an ethical responsibility to take care of earth so they do not waste earth’s finite supply of resources. They propose that humans should only encourage environmentally beneficial forms of economical growth. They also believe that humanity’s success is measured by how well they manage earth’s resources so that it benefits them as well as the rest of nature.  And Finally the Environmental wisdom worldview believes that humans are a part of nature and are dependent on it for existence. For this reason, humans should preserve resources. The main difference between these worldviews is the importance put on the role of humans in contrast to the environmental problems.

Critics believe that a certain balance is required between the importance of humans on earth as well as the importance humans give to their environment for us to thrive on Earth. This is where education can play a large role and make a dramatic difference. Without gaining the proper knowledge of what is required for the Earth to sustain, then certain worldviews such as the human centered worldview, will fall apart. If humans expand their knowledge to learn about all forms of life, regardless if they are of any use to humans or not, they would have a better understanding of how humans can harmoniously co-exist and thrive on Earth while nurturing the environment to thrive as well. If humans understand the damage caused by their actions, if they learn about the effects of their ecological footprint and how that in return hurts human civilization, perhaps humanity would be more eager to change their wrong doings. We must also raise awareness towards ecological and climate change tipping points; once these points are crossed, no amount of money or technology and undo the permanent damage Earth will have to endure for thousands of years.

This is where movements such as the “No Child Left Inside” come into play where they provide funding for environmental education. This movement aims to teach students between kindergarten and 12th grade how to understand, analyze, and resolve environmental issues.  If we educate humanity at a young age, then these children will grow up to become more environmentally aware individuals and will be able to carry humanity in a more environmentally friendly and ethical direction. By creating more environmentally literate individuals, we will be able to steer towards societies that are capable of maintaining sustainable environments. But literacy doesn’t end in the classrooms. We must get out and experience nature to better understand what we’re dealing with. Initiate or get involve in community projects that aim to preserve the environment. All it takes is commitment from each and every one of us to do our parts as individuals to make the world a better place, not only for us but also for our future generations.  

Ideologies Take Two: The Root of It All

For those of you who read my last post, I touched on environmental ideologies and my own beliefs in regards to that, specifically ecocentrism. If you haven’t read it, the link is here. I want to dive a little deeper into the idea of ecocentrism—the term in general is fairly vague, but it’s because there are several other ideologies beneath this. Personally, I feel I gravitate towards a combination of a few of these. Before I lay out these labels, I think it’s important to understand where the root of these ideologies come from. Where anthropocentrism is rooted in a hierarchical, self centered place, ecocentrism comes from a place of respect, selflessness, and love.

In order for us to have a mindset that respects all our surroundings for not just our own use, but for their own personal place in the world, we need to be able to take ourselves down from the top of the ladder. By placing ourselves level with all other living, and nonliving, parts of our earth, we are able to gain a perspective that wants to preserve and conserve for not our own gain, but for the environment’s own pursuit of life. Several ideologies tie into this method of thinking: ethics and values-driven ideologies, such as animal rights and land-based ethics; and transformative ideologies, such as ecological sensibility, deep ecology, social ecology, and ecofeminism. Along the lines, but also separate from, these are ideologies that are based from religion: native american ideology, and eastern traditions.

Ethics and value-driven ideologies both follow a similar belief of respect for other organisms that are not human; however where land-based ethics encompass all elements of the biotic world, animal-rights based ethics focuses on just animals. In Communicating Nature (2006), Corbett quotes Aldo Leopold on his idea that this is the shift when we think of other life forms not as “a subject of human interest, but as an object…a being that has its own purpose.” This is where the beginning of my own ideology forms—any eco-related actions I may take are not for the benefit of humans, but for the protection of all life forms being and continuing to be equal. Ecological sensibility plays a part in this too, as it “recognizes the importance of relationships, systems, and individuals” (Corbett, 41). The piece I take from this ideology is the “ethical duty” that we as humans don’t interfere with natural processes. That, in a nutshell I think, sums up my entire belief. We should live our lives in a way that minimizes the impact we have on other organisms. Now, it’s important to point out the anthropocentric side to this argument—Joe Shmoe claims that creating large buildings and burning fossil fuels are what humans are meant to do, therefor living out their own purpose and activities. Maybe. But just because we can destroy numerous habitats for our own gain when we could be doing it in a far more sustainable and habitat saving way doesn’t mean we should. Take note Joe Shmoe—the world does not revolve around you.

The last bit of ideology that plays into my own is the deep ecology ideology. The two major components of this are “biocentric equality” and “self-realization.” Pause for a moment and take a step back towards eastern ideology. Many similarities exist between these four ideologies, and those of East Asia religions, specifically Buddhism. I add this in because I feel my ideologies have been shaped by the fact in recent years I have identified as a Buddhist. As Corbett points out, the Buddha teaches us an extreme level of selflessness and awareness of our surroundings, resulting in a heightened sense of equality. Basically, we are all the universe and the universe is all of us. Everything on earth holds equal value and we and them are all intertwined. Now, that being said, this is the same opinion I pull from the deep ecology ideology, as they have the same basic principle.

The root of my ideologies come not just from respect and Buddhism but, as I said before, love. The short story Yellowstone: The Erotics of Place from Terry Williams’ An Unspoken Hunger (1994) gives a beautiful example of the love we need to have for our earth in order to put forth the proper respect it needs, between mythology stories of Pan and Echo, and a the followings of a man looking to protect bison skulls. He says that we are “engaging with the land. Loving the land and dreaming it. An erotics of place” (Williams, 85). And I agree. That’s exactly what we need to do. Love the land—all of the land, all of the time. Then maybe we can take ourselves down from the top tier and work towards replacing what we’ve destroyed.


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Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being Eco-Friendly

As a lover of nature and the natural world, I’d like to consider myself an environmentalist. However—I feel you can’t label yourself broadly in this day and age. One is not merely of a general mindset; we fall under categories and sects. That being said, I’ve been thinking a good deal about what kind of environmentalist I am. Corbett lays out a scale in Communicating Nature (2006) that embodies the entire spectrum of environmentalism. On the radical left end, we have anthropocentric beliefs; those with this ideology believe humans are on the top of the ladder and are meant to be there. Every other “non-human entity” is inferior and serves to promote human welfare. Alternatively on the far right, we have ecocentric beliefs—the notion that all things of the natural world are equal, and their welfare is just as important as ours. Between these two guidelines falls several variations, including unrestrained instrumentalism, conservationism, preservation, ethics and value driven ideologies, and transformative ideologies. These five in-between ideologies range from believing we shouldn’t restrain our use of the natural world (unrestrained instrumentalism) to believing we should all seek to transform those who have anthropocentric beliefs into more ecocentric frames of mind.

Personally, I think I fall pretty neatly under the transformative ideology/ecocentric center. I think anthropocentric ways of thinking are entirely selfish; you can’t just focus on yourself, or your own race, or your own species. You can’t focus only on where you live, who you are, or what you do. Like I said in my last post, too many people aren’t thinking about the end game. If we don’t respect the whole natural world, it’s not the earth that’s going to die; it’s humans. That being said, I also feel like people don’t look at the big picture when it comes to being eco-friendly either.

I think everyone has something that I can most easily describe as “ecological rights.” What I mean by that is we all have the right to enjoy nature, but at the same time we also have the right to use resources. It’s just we need to be responsible with how we do this. In a recent TED talk, Van Jones talks about the ecological injustice that goes on when it comes to recycling plastic—most of us may not be feeling the affects, and may feel like we’re doing the right thing by recycling. However, there are people living in poverty situations 100% feel the affect. Our recycled plastic is processed right next to their homes; this releasing very harmful chemicals not only into the air they breathe but into their atmosphere. In order for us to truly be environmentally conscious, we can’t just practice sustainability and recycling—we need to do it responsibly. This ties in with the ecocentric ideology beautifully. Although the process of recycling plastic has good hearted intentions that express a desire to be eco-friendly, we aren’t thinking of the big picture. We are still greatly affecting a species of the natural world, which, in this case is a community of our own species. In that sense, we can’t totally claim that we are doing it for the better of the earth and man-kind.

There have been too many arguments and wars and deaths started because of the division we’ve caused in man-kind. Civil wars directly parallel those of religious wars, rights movements, and environmental rights movements. The division starts here, with the earth, with nature. To understand and respect each other, we need to understand and respect the earth. Only then can we bridge the gaps that have formed. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and think from an ecocentric frame of mind. Think about how you can follow a transformative ideology, and start changing minds to non-hierarchal attitude.

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