ecological footprint

bitternesscentral  asked:

Commune with two m

im not 100% sure if this is the exact word im looking for HOWEVER, compared to the other terms people have been throwing at me, this def seems to have the closest definition to what I’m looking for! 

So good job haha

An interesting insert from Wikipedia lmaoo:

In the German commune book, Das KommuneBuch, communes are defined by Elisabeth Voß as communities which:[11]

  • Live and work together,
  • Have a communal economy, i.e. common finances and common property (land, buildings, means of production),
  • Have communal decision making – usually consensus decision making,
  • Try to reduce hierarchy and hierarchical structures,
  • Have communalization of housework, childcare and other communal tasks,
  • Have equality between women and men,
  • Have low ecological footprints through sharing and saving resources.

A LOT OF THAT is true for NMD households haha yey 

smallg0als-deactivated20170525  asked:

Hey I want to eat more plant based/vegan/vegetarian because I want to care more about my ecological footprint. Do you have any good guides/resources to start?

Hi !! I’m sorry, I just saw this ask omg, but yes I can help you out! I hope it’s ok if I post this publicly since it could provide good resources for others as well. 

Here is a link that I think is helpful to learn about veganism and what it really is. It also has some helpful links about finding vegan foods, and how to properly go about transitioning to veganism. Also wonderful links about environmental aspects of the movement

Choose Veg is full of good resources on vegan foods and starter kits. Here’s a free vegetarian starter guide that you can have mailed to you! 

There are also a lot of vegan food blogs that can be found right here on tumblr that I love and have actually gotten my lazy ass to try and branch out and make fun recipes lol. Also a good tip I think is to remember that substitutes, while they certainly aren’t necessary or accessible to everyone, can be really good when transitioning! Here’s a wonderful list of some really tasty substitutes, so keep an eye out for vegan brands such as these.

Transitioning to a more eco friendly, plant based diet is different for everyone. Some people rely heavily on substitutes, and some never touch em. If you think vegan cheese tastes nasty the first time around, go without dairy for about a month or two and try it again lol, your tastebuds will change significantly. Don’t be afraid to try foods two or even three times! It takes a lot of getting used to, but once the food habits are formed, it’s smooth sailing from there, trust me.

I hope this helped you out, have a nice day bud!

A guide to the “10 Signs of Greenwash”:

  • Fluffy language: Words or terms with no clear meaning (e.g., “eco-friendly”).
  • Green product vs. dirty company: Such as efficient lightbulbs made in a factory that pollutes rivers.
  • Suggestive pictures: Green images that indicate a (unjustified) green impact (e.g., flowers blooming from exhaust pipes).
  • Irrelevant claims: Emphasizing one tiny green attribute when everything else is not green.
  • Best in class: Declaring you are slightly greener than the rest, even if the rest are pretty terrible.
  • Just not credible: “Eco friendly” cigarettes, anyone? “Greening” a dangerous product doesn’t make it safe.
  • Jargon: Information that only a scientist could check or understand.
  • Imaginary friends: A “label” that looks like third-party endorsement — except that it’s made up.
  • No proof: It could be right, but where’s the evidence?
  • Outright lying: Totally fabricated claims or data.
250 THINGS AN ARCHITECT SHOULD KNOW - MICHAEL SORKIN

1.    The feel of cool marble under bare feet.
2.    How to live in a small room with five strangers for six months.
3.    With the same strangers in a lifeboat for one week.
4.    The modulus of rupture.
5.    The distance a shout carries in the city.
6.    The distance of a whisper.
7.    Everything possible about Hatshepsut’s temple (try not to see it as ‘modernist’ avant la lettre).
8.    The number of people with rent subsidies in New York City.
9.    In your town (include the rich).
10.    The flowering season for azaleas.
11.    The insulating properties of glass.
12.    The history of its production and use.
13.    And of its meaning.
14.    How to lay bricks.
15.    What Victor Hugo really meant by ‘this will kill that.’
16.    The rate at which the seas are rising.
17.    Building information modeling (BIM).
18.    How to unclog a rapidograph.
19.    The Gini coefficient.
20.    A comfortable tread-to-riser ratio for a six-year-old.
21.    In a wheelchair.
22.    The energy embodied in aluminum.
23.    How to turn a corner.
24.    How to design a corner.
25.    How to sit in a corner.
26.    How Antoni Gaudí modeled the Sagrada Família and calculated its structure.
27.    The proportioning system for the Villa Rotonda.
28.    The rate at which that carpet you specified off-gasses.
29.    The relevant sections of the Code of Hammurabi.
30.    The migratory patterns of warblers and other seasonal travellers.
31.    The basics of mud construction.
32.    The direction of prevailing winds.
33.    Hydrology is destiny.
34.    Jane Jacobs in and out.
35.    Something about feng shui.
36.    Something about Vastu Shilpa.
37.    Elementary ergonomics.
38.    The color wheel.
39.    What the client wants.
40.    What the client thinks it wants.
41.    What the client needs.
42.    What the client can afford.
43.    What the planet can afford.
44.    The theoretical bases for modernity and a great deal about its factions and inflections.
45.    What post-Fordism means for the mode of production of building.
46.    Another language.
47.    What the brick really wants.
48.    The difference between Winchester Cathedral and a bicycle shed.
49.    What went wrong in Fatehpur Sikri.
50.    What went wrong in Pruitt-Igoe.
51.    What went wrong with the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
52.    Where the CCTV cameras are.
53.    Why Mies really left Germany.
54.    How people lived in Çatal Hüyük.
55.    The structural properties of tufa.
56.    How to calculate the dimensions of brise-soleil.
57.    The kilowatt costs of photovoltaic cells.
58.    Vitruvius.
59.    Walter Benjamin.
60.    Marshall Berman.
61.    The secrets of the success of Robert Moses.
62.    How the dome on the Duomo in Florence was built.
63.    The reciprocal influences of Chinese and Japanese building.
64.    The cycle of the Ise Shrine.
65.    Entasis.
66.    The history of Soweto.
67.    What it’s like to walk down the Ramblas.
68.    Back-up.
69.    The proper proportions of a gin martini.
70.    Shear and moment.
71.    Shakespeare, etc.
72.    How the crow flies.
73.    The difference between a ghetto and a neighborhood.
74.    How the pyramids were built.
75.    Why.
76.    The pleasures of the suburbs.
77.    The horrors.
78.    The quality of light passing through ice.
79.    The meaninglessness of borders.
80.    The reasons for their tenacity.
81.    The creativity of the ecotone.
82.    The need for freaks.
83.    Accidents must happen.
84.    It is possible to begin designing anywhere.
85.    The smell of concrete after rain.
86.    The angle of the sun at the equinox.
87.    How to ride a bicycle.
88.    The depth of the aquifer beneath you.
89.    The slope of a handicapped ramp.
90.    The wages of construction workers.
91.    Perspective by hand.
92.    Sentence structure.
93.    The pleasure of a spritz at sunset at a table by the Grand Canal.
94.    The thrill of the ride.
95.    Where materials come from.
96.    How to get lost.
97.    The pattern of artificial light at night, seen from space.
98.    What human differences are defensible in practice.
99.    Creation is a patient search.
100.    The debate between Otto Wagner and Camillo Sitte.
101.    The reasons for the split between architecture and engineering.
102.    Many ideas about what constitutes utopia.
103.    The social and formal organization of the villages of the Dogon.
104.    Brutalism, Bowellism, and the Baroque.
105.    How to derive.
106.    Woodshop safety.
107.    A great deal about the Gothic.
108.    The architectural impact of colonialism on the cities of North Africa.
109.    A distaste for imperialism.
110.    The history of Beijing.
111.    Dutch domestic architecture in the 17th century.
112.    Aristotle’s Politics.
113.    His Poetics.
114.    The basics of wattle and daub.
115.    The origins of the balloon frame.
116.    The rate at which copper acquires its patina.
117.    The levels of particulates in the air of Tianjin.
118.    The capacity of white pine trees to sequester carbon.
119.    Where else to sink it.
120.    The fire code.
121.    The seismic code.
122.    The health code.
123.    The Romantics, throughout the arts and philosophy.
124.    How to listen closely.
125.    That there is a big danger in working in a single medium. The logjam you don’t even know you’re stuck in will be broken by a shift in representation.
126.    The exquisite corpse.
127.    Scissors, stone, paper.
128.    Good Bordeaux.
129.    Good beer.
130.    How to escape a maze.
131.    QWERTY.
132.    Fear.
133.    Finding your way around Prague, Fez, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Kyoto, Rio, Mexico, Solo, Benares, Bangkok, Leningrad, Isfahan.
134.    The proper way to behave with interns.
135.    Maya, Revit, Catia, whatever.
136.    The history of big machines, including those that can fly.
137.    How to calculate ecological footprints.
138.    Three good lunch spots within walking distance.
139.    The value of human life.
140.    Who pays.
141.    Who profits.
142.    The Venturi effect.
143.    How people pee.
144.    What to refuse to do, even for the money.
145.    The fine print in the contract.
146.    A smattering of naval architecture.
147.    The idea of too far.
148.    The idea of too close.
149.    Burial practices in a wide range of cultures.
150.    The density needed to support a pharmacy.
151.    The density needed to support a subway.
152.    The effect of the design of your city on food miles for fresh produce.
153.    Lewis Mumford and Patrick Geddes.
154.    Capability Brown, André Le Nôtre, Frederick Law Olmsted, Muso Soseki, Ji Cheng, and Roberto Burle Marx.
155.    Constructivism, in and out.
156.    Sinan.
157.    Squatter settlements via visits and conversations with residents.
158.    The history and techniques of architectural representation across cultures.
159.    Several other artistic media.
160.    A bit of chemistry and physics.
161.    Geodesics.
162.    Geodetics.
163.    Geomorphology.
164.    Geography.
165.    The Law of the Andes.
166.    Cappadocia first-hand.
167.    The importance of the Amazon.
168.    How to patch leaks.
169.    What makes you happy.
170.    The components of a comfortable environment for sleep.
171.    The view from the Acropolis.
172.    The way to Santa Fe.
173.    The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
174.    Where to eat in Brooklyn.
175.    Half as much as a London cabbie.
176.    The Nolli Plan.
177.    The Cerdà Plan.
178.    The Haussmann Plan.
179.    Slope analysis.
180.    Darkroom procedures and Photoshop.
181.    Dawn breaking after a bender.
182.    Styles of genealogy and taxonomy.
183.    Betty Friedan.
184.    Guy Debord.
185.    Ant Farm.
186.    Archigram.
187.    Club Med.
188.    Crepuscule in Dharamshala.
189.    Solid geometry.
190.    Strengths of materials (if only intuitively).
191.    Ha Long Bay.
192.    What’s been accomplished in Medellín.
193.    In Rio.
194.    In Calcutta.
195.    In Curitiba.
196.    In Mumbai.
197.    Who practices? (It is your duty to secure this space for all who want to.)
198.    Why you think architecture does any good.
199.    The depreciation cycle.
200.    What rusts.
201.    Good model-making techniques in wood and cardboard.
202.    How to play a musical instrument.
203.    Which way the wind blows.
204.    The acoustical properties of trees and shrubs.
205.    How to guard a house from floods.
206.    The connection between the Suprematists and Zaha.
207.    The connection between Oscar Niemeyer and Zaha.
208.    Where north (or south) is.
209.    How to give directions, efficiently and courteously.
210.    Stadtluft macht frei.
211.    Underneath the pavement the beach.
212.    Underneath the beach the pavement.
213.    The germ theory of disease.
214.    The importance of vitamin D.
215.    How close is too close.
216.    The capacity of a bioswale to recharge the aquifer.
217.    The draught of ferries.
218.    Bicycle safety and etiquette.
219.    The difference between gabions and riprap.
220.    The acoustic performance of Boston Symphony Hall.
221.    How to open the window.
222.    The diameter of the earth.
223.    The number of gallons of water used in a shower.
224.    The distance at which you can recognize faces.
225.    How and when to bribe public officials (for the greater good).
226.    Concrete finishes.
227.    Brick bonds.
228.    The Housing Question by Friedrich Engels.
229.    The prismatic charms of Greek island towns.
230.    The energy potential of the wind.
231.    The cooling potential of the wind, including the use of chimneys and the stack effect.
232.    Paestum.
233.    Straw-bale building technology.
234.    Rachel Carson.
235.    Freud.
236.    The excellence of Michel de Klerk.
237.    Of Alvar Aalto.
238.    Of Lina Bo Bardi.
239.    The non-pharmacological components of a good club.
240.    Mesa Verde National Park.
241.    Chichen Itza.
242.    Your neighbors.
243.    The dimensions and proper orientation of sports fields.
244.    The remediation capacity of wetlands.
245.    The capacity of wetlands to attenuate storm surges.
246.    How to cut a truly elegant section.
247.    The depths of desire.
248.    The heights of folly.
249.    Low tide.
250.    The Golden and other ratios.

3

Eco Homes from the Earth: Cordwood

Wouldn’t it be nice to own your own green dream home, made with recycled and natural materials and packed with custom features? Whether you’re an experienced builder or have never picked up a power tool in your life, you can build a natural eco-friendly home with user-friendly, low-cost materials like cob, cordwood, straw and the dirt and wood from your own land. These natural building techniques produce beautiful homes with a small ecological footprint.

From far away, it looks like stone masonry – but get up close and you’ll see that cordwood buildings are actually made from wood stacked firewood-style, and mortar. Debarked logs ranging from 12 to 36 inches can be arranged into walls either in load-bearing round structures or in combination with post-and-beam framing.

Soft woods like cedar and pine are used because they are more stable, with less expansion and contraction. These walls offer both insulation and thermal mass. As with any natural building technique, it’s labor-intensive, but easy enough that practically anyone can do it.

5 Ways to Use Recycled Materials in Witchcraft

The Witchcraft practiced by a great many modern Witches and magick-practitioners often revolves around respect for, and sometimes worship of, the natural world. Our magick stems ultimately from the self, from the power of our Wills, but in so doing we often utilise tools and substances derived from nature. In addition, we as Witches are the students of the natural, the intuitive, and the arcane, and so it makes sense when you remember that almost all Witches (though not all) are staunch environmentalists and natural world activists.

These are a few of my favourite tips and tricks for Witches who want to reduce their Craft’s ecological and carbon footprints, and for those Witches who perhaps find it difficult to afford expensive commercially-made components. 

—–

  1. Carry a small jar or box with you at all times, so that if you ever see a rare or useful plant or mineral, you can scoop it into your jar and be able to take it home without worrying about it messing all the pockets of your bag. This is a great way to save money on herbs or minerals, and also a wonderful way to incorporate your own Will into your workings (since you harvested it, not some big company). 

  2. Practice drying your own herbs. Not only does this save money, but it’s a wonderful way to really get a feel for using herbs and gives you a greater insight into how to work with your herbs when they’re finally ready.

  3. Make your altar tools yourself, using naturally-sourced materials. This is something I adore doing, because not only does making my tools by hand make them entirely biodegradable (for instance, my athame is solid wood), but it also means I understand the energies of the tool at a very deep level and I perform far better magick using those tools. It also means that instead of needing to clean my tools every Imbolc, I simply bury them in a shallow grave and start making a new set!

  4. If making offerings of food or drink, try to use seasonally-available fruits and vegetables. These crops have much lower carbon footprints because you don’t have to grow the produce for many months in an energy-intensive, heavily mineral-reliant greenhouse, thus saving both your own money and the planet.

  5. Instead of using semi-precious stones like amethyst in your Craft, use more mundane river-rocks or interesting shells. They have a strong energy of their own, and it’s a wonderful way to not only save a tonne of money but also to learn so much more about both the living and non-living worlds around you.

——–

I hope this has helped some environmentally-conscious Witches out there!

– Juniper Wildwalk

# leave nothing but footprints take nothing but pictures kill nothing but time anti-capitalism green anarchism anti-capitalist time pictures footprints forest jungle ecology green eco environmentalism radical environmentalism

[When asked if she really had hope for the future] Yes, there is hope, and where is the hope? Is it out there with the politicians? It’s in our hands, it’s in your hands and my hands and those of our children. Its really up to us. We’re the ones who can make a difference. If we lead lives where we consciously leave the lightest possible ecological footprints, if we buy the things that are ethical for us to buy and don’t buy the things that are not, we can change the world overnight.
—  Jane Goodall
8

(Follow AmericaWakieWakie)

“I don’t believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people.” – Eduardo Galeano

The #GoogleImpactChallenge campaign is bullshit. All corporate “giving back” is bullshit because it erases the structural theft it takes to amass enormous fortune. Exploit communities and the planet for hundreds of billions and then “give back” mere pennies on the dollar? That has nothing to do with creating a better, more equitable planet and everything to do with painting a rosy picture of “good” exploiters – the philanthropic saviorism Google is touting here – versus “bad” exploiters. It is about creating positive social capital within public and community perceptions with the intent of hiding destructive social and ecological footprints. We always fall for it though, always chasing the crumbs they throw at us. 

ahungryvegan-deactivated2015040  asked:

Hey I just transitioned from vegetarian to vegan a bit ago and my friends still don't understand me! I know being vegan is good for the planet overall but What are the positive environmental affects being vegan?

Hi there! I gathered some facts with its sources, see below :) And for more info please watch Cowspiracy :)

Reduce global warming

  • Global warming poses one of the most serious threats to the global environment ever faced in human history. Yet by focusing entirely on carbon dioxide emissions, major environmental organizations have failed to account for published data showing that other gases are the main culprits behind the global warming we see today. As a result, they are overlooking the fact that the single most important step an individual can take to reduce global warming [faster than any other means] is to adopt a vegetarian diet.1
  • In its 2006 report, the United Nations said raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.2

Avoid excessive CO2 production

  • According to the UN Report, when emissions from land use and land use change are included, the livestock sector accounts for 9 per cent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases.3

Reduce methane/nitrous oxide production

  • Cows and sheep are responsible for 37% of the total methane (23 times as warming as CO2) generated by human activity.4 With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority
  • The livestock industry generates 64 per cent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.5
  • The livestock industry also generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 300 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure.6
  • In addition to having the advantage of immediately reducing global warming, shifting away from methane-emitting food sources is much easier than cutting carbon dioxide7:
    • First, greenhouse gas reductions through a vegetarian diet are limitless. In principle, even 100% reduction could be achieved with little negative impact. In contrast, similar cuts in carbon dioxide are impossible without devastating effects on the economy. Even the most ambitious carbon dioxide reduction strategies fall short of cutting emissions by half.
    • Second, a shift in diet can lower greenhouse gas emissions much more quickly than shifts away from the fossil fuel burning technologies that emit carbon dioxide. The turnover rate for most ruminant farm animals is one or two years, which means that decreases in meat consumption would result in an almost immediate drop in methane emissions. The turnover rate for cars and power plants, on the other hand, can be decades. Even if cheap, zero-emission fuel sources were available today, they would take many years to build and slowly replace the massive infrastructure our economy depends upon today.
    • Similarly, unlike carbon dioxide which can remain in the air for more than a century, methane cycles out of the atmosphere in just eight years. Therefore, lower methane emissions translate to cooling of the earth quickly.

Save large amounts of water

  • Estimates of the water required to produce a kilo of beef vary, from 13,000 liters8 up to 100,000 liters9 . Whichever figure you use, the damage is plain when you consider that the water required to produce a kilo of wheat is somewhere between 1,000-2,000 litres.

Avoid further pollution of our streams/rivers/oceans

  • Pollution of our waterways is caused by animal waste, antibiotics and hormones entering the water cycle alongside chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers, and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.
  • Manure, or waste water containing manure, severely harms river and stream ecosystems. Farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population of the United States. Since factory farms don’t have sewage treatment systems as our cities and towns do, this concentrated slop ends up polluting our water, destroying our topsoil, and contaminating our air.10
  • Once factory farm pollutants—including nitrogen, phosphorus, antibiotics and pesticides—reach the waterways they cause a great deal of damage to aquatic and human life. Algal blooms are a particular problem, blocking waterways, using up oxygen as they decompose, and killing the natural populations of fish.11
  • • In large amounts, animal waste can present major problems to the waterways and their surrounding environment. More than 2 billion tons of animal manure was produced worldwide during the late 1990s. Assuming average nitrogen content of around 5%, this makes 100 million tons of nitrogen12 finding its way into our water system.

Reduce destruction of topsoil & tropical rainforest

  • Thirty percent of the earth’s entire land surface—a massive 70% of all agricultural land—is used for rearing farmed animals. Much of this is grazing land that otherwise would host natural habitats such as valuable rainforests. And, of the entire world’s land suitable for growing crops that would otherwise directly feed humans, a third of it is used to produce feed for farmed animals.13
  • Livestock farming can lead to overgrazing causing soil erosion, desertification and deforestation14. Twenty percent of the world’s grazing land has already been designated as degraded due to the rearing of animals for their meat.15
  • Livestock production is responsible for 70% of deforestation in the Amazon region of Latin America, where rainforests are being cleared to create new pastures.16
  • Deforestation increases greenhouse gas emissions by releasing carbon previously stored in the trees. It is also a major driver in the loss of biodiversity – a pressing concern when one considers the fact that just a few species of livestock now account for about 20% of total terrestrial animal biomass.17

Reduce destruction of wildlife habitats & endangered species

  • The livestock industry is responsible for widespread deforestation and cultivation of vast tracks of land. Wide-spread cultivation of the land ruins animals’ natural habitat and forces millions of them to be evicted from their homes each year, causing long-term harm to our wildlife.

Reduce use of antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemicals

  • Farmed animals and fish are fed a wide variety of drugs to fatten them faster and to keep them alive in conditions that would otherwise kill them. These drugs enter the human food chain through direct consumption or through pollution of our waterways.
  • The effect on humans of consuming low levels of these drugs during a lifetime is unknown but could be serious. Antibiotics given to farmed animals include penicillin, erythromycin, and inorganic arsenic (the most toxic form of arsenic).
  • Antibiotics contain significant amounts of the most carcinogenic form of arsenic. USDA researchers have found that “…eating two ounces of chicken per day—the equivalent of a third to a half of a boneless breast—exposes a consumer to 3 to 5 micrograms of inorganic arsenic, the element’s most toxic form.” Daily exposure to low doses of arsenic can cause cancer, dementia, neurological problems, and other ailments in humans. 18
  • Antibiotics reduce the amount of bacteria in animals’ intestines and preventing infection, to which crowded, stressed animals are predisposed. Routine antibiotic use leads to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, thereby reducing antibiotics’ effectiveness when treating people suffering from food poisoning or other infectious diseases. 19
  • Farmers give hormones to animals to increase growth and productivity. Widely used in the United States, these hormones are known to cause several types of cancer and reproductive dysfunction in humans.20 While U.S. farmers claim that using hormones to promote growth is safe, the European Union has prohibited this practice since 1995.21
  • Fish farming contributes directly to the pollution of our waterways:
    • Large numbers of fish kept long-term in a single location produces a significant amount of feces concentrated in a small location, which can enter local waterways.
    • Because of parasite problems, some aquaculture operators frequently use strong antibiotic drugs to keep the fish alive. Many fish still die prematurely at rates of up to 30%.22 The residual presence of these drugs in human food products has become controversial because the use of antibiotics in food production is thought to increase the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in human diseases.
    • These drugs enter the food chain through direct consumption of the farmed fish itself and through the highly concentrated feces deposits that contaminate water supplies. Reports indicate that Scottish salmon farms alone have breached pollution limits more than 400 times in the past 3 years.23

Reduce ecological footprint

  • By choosing a vegetarian diet instead of one loaded with animal products, individuals can dramatically reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources that they consume and the amount of pollution they otherwise might cause. Of course, reducing one’s ecological footprint should also mean causing less harm to the Earth’s non-human inhabitants. By switching to a vegetarian diet, each person can save more than 100 animals each year from the horrific cruelty of the meat industry24.

Help ensure environmental sustainability

  • There were approximately 6.5 billion people living on earth in 20052526 , and as the world’s population continues to grow, our requirement for food will also increase. Worldwide food production requires 30% of the total soil available, 20% of fossil fuel energy and a major part of the fresh water flow27. Raising cattle is one of the most damaging components of agriculture28. In addition to their gaseous emissions and manure products, it causes the most environmental damage of any non-human species through over-grazing, soil erosion, desertification and tropical deforestation. Studies on world food security estimate that an affluent diet containing meat requires up to 3 times as many resources as a vegetarian diet29.
  • Global production of meat has increased dramatically from 130 million tones in the late 1970s to 230 million tones in the year 200030. Meat is now the single largest source of animal protein in all affluent nations31 and demand for animal flesh is expected to more than double by the year 205032. In order to meet this growing appetite, animals will no doubt be reared more intensively and cheaply with factory farming and aquaculture (fish farming) causing further pollution, water demand and land usage. If nothing is done, the environmental impact of meat production can only increase.
  • Adopting a vegetarian diet is an important tool to achieve environmental sustainability.
Sources: 

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These States Drain the Most of Our Natural Resources

Compared to the entire world, the United States has the second largest ecological footprint, second only to China. But which of the states within the United States contribute the most to that ecological footprint? California, Texas, and Florida topped the list, according to a report released earlier this month by the Global Footprint Network. Researchers also found that 34 of the 50 states have that kind of “ecological debt.” Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia consumed the most ecological resources per person.

The overall European demand for live [Christmas] trees reaches about 50 million per year. Denmark is a major producer of live Christmas trees: about 90 percent are exported to other European nations, such as Great Britain, France, Germany and Austria. Denmark exported about 1 million trees to Great Britain in 2004. In 2005, Christmas tree sales in Denmark were about 1.2 billion kroner (US $204 million, €160 million), of this amount, 1.1 billion kroner was in exports. Great Britain alone consumes about 8 million trees annually.

In the United States, between 35 and 40 million trees are sold during the Christmas season. Christmas tree production in Canada totals from 3 to 6 million trees annually. Of the 900,000 trees produced annually in British Columbia, most are cut from native pine stands. About half of the total [Canadian] harvest is exported each year, mostly to the United States but also to the Caribbean and Central America. Between 1995 and 1997, Canadian Christmas tree exports to Germany increased 380 percent.
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Christmas Tree Production & Christmas Tree Production in Canada

Just think of all the carbon that could be sequestered by those trees;
think of all the lost potential habitats;
think of the enormous amounts of capital expended;
and, think of the ecological footprint of shipping live trees over thousands of kilometers, which then spend a few weeks dying in someone’s living room.

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On September 22, 2014 some Latvians celebrated World Car-Free Day by building car-size cages around their bikes to make the point that cars take up lots more room on the roads, and that each cyclist helps reduce traffic by exactly that much. Space is more of an issue in Europe, and these caged bikes at the first sight looks like a “protection.” It takes several cognitive steps to connect bike+cage=car/replace car with bike = fewer traffic jams. Overall it was a powerful statement about the vulnerability of cyclists on roads, and a statement that bikes are vehicles too.