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Posts tagged "sustainable living"

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Discussions Discussion Off the table?
Camilla H_EK11, Oct. 10, 2013

I must say, I was surprised by my low environmental footprint result. Though, there is always room for improvements! There are a few things concerning my lifestyle that obviously are “off the table”, that I can not live without, such as transportation and food. These topics where the top two of highest carbon dioxide releases. It is hard living without these, rather impossible. I must travel to school everyday, but at least I go there by public transportation and not by car which would be a worse choice. And I do not travel with airplanes so often, which makes my environmental footprint pretty low. But to be able to go anywhere I must transport myself, which makes it hard to chose this away.

The other one, food, is a must, everybody has to eat. But the way each person eats could make big differences on the environment. By choosing organic food products you contribute to a sustainable and healthier environment and by eating less, I am not telling you to stop entirely, meat, it would cause less pressure on the meat industry, which emissions and resources are alarming.
According to facts, (http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/sustainability/) as much as a third of the total amount of produced food for human use globally, is being made for nothing, therefore it ends up in garbage bags. This is a serious problem and this statistics does not sound promising concerning the human’s expected growing population. How will our whole population be able to get food if so much is being thrown away? The food we produced should be eaten and not wasted.
But there are some solutions. The complications with food waste is growing, which could simply be reduce by changing people who live in industrialized countries’s minds to think further and less selfish, and make them stop throwing excellent eatable food away. It will be both more economic and environmental to start making doggie bags out of left overs etc. Poor people can not prioritize buying organic food products, but people with a better life standard can. Simply, everyone, who is able to, should think about this issue and how serious its consequences are. Still, food and its carbon dioxide releases can not be chosen away, but at least its affects could be reduced.

Camilla H_EK11

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Discussions Discussion Sustainable city
srini n, Feb. 18, 2012

Why buy local? - Justified!

srini n
Comments (7)
  • Felicia Fahlin Felicia Fahlin April 25, 2012
    I have never been sure if locally produced is always the best alternative to reduce carbon emissions. Is it really better to buy locally produced goods if these goods are harder to produce in that specific place. For example, in Sweden, where I live, if you want to grow tomatoes here you have to do it in a greenhouse, because it's, you know, really cold and dark here most of the time. Isn't better to buy the tomatoes from Italy then, even if they had to be transported? You both seem really knowledgeable about this topic, I would really love to hear what you think!
  • Felicia Fahlin Felicia Fahlin April 25, 2012
    I've also though about that if things are produced locally the you might not be able to do so in as large scale, and isn't for example large scale agriculture more energy efficient?
  • Jason Hodin Jason Hodin April 26, 2012
    yes, Felicia, you are correct about “local” not always being the lowest footprint, and your example of the greenhouse is spot on- greenhouse tomatoes here in Seattle (grown nearby outside of Vancouver Canada) have a much higher footprint than tomatoes shipped by train or truck from Mexico. Transport costs are -despite what many think- a relatively small part of the footprint of food. An exception to this is food shipped by air, which is a very very high footprint. But food shipped by boat (such as bananas or avocados from the tropics) does not have a particularly high footprint.

    Of course, carbon footprint is not the only consideration. There are other reasons to buy local other than saving in carbon emissions.

    As for large scale versus small scale production, that is a very complex question, and there is no straight-forward simple answer. There is some energy savings with specialization and scale, but large farms tend to use tons of fertilizers (which produce massive greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollution), water and farm equipment. So these operations are not notably green.

    However, the studies I've seen suggest that pasture raised cows produce more greenhouse emissions than a factory farmed cow. There are plenty of good reasons to consider pasture raised meat if you eat meat, but reducing greenhouse emissions is apparently not one of them.
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Discussions Discussion Science Lectures
Anita Singh, April 20, 2011

This is a great video that is part of UCLA’s education for sustainable living lecture series. It’s about what students can do to make a difference. The full course is available through:

Anita Singh

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