Ecological Imperative

Building a Better World

We just discovered GAPFRAME, a new data visualization tool developed by the Sustainability Thought Leaders group. As a national and global normative framework, it is designed to help businesses and other stakeholders “work towards a better world in a concrete and measurable way”. It does so by translating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) into relevant and measurable indicators for business.

Visualizing Sustainability

 "Real engagement often starts with an interesting and fantastic experience in nature or through art."

 — Tone Bjordam, Norwegian Visual Artist

Gibbons Park Montessori School Food Forest Project

Blog by Joanna Chin, Doctoral Student, York University-Environmental Studies

Coding Endangered Species

As digital literacy becomes a key skill of the 21st century, more and more classrooms are integrating coding lessons into their curriculum. As a result, many children are now learning how to read and write while practicing HTML and CSS.

The Beauty of Trees

Last summer, University of Utah biologist Nalini Nadkarni fell out of a tree. One of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on trees, this short film is captivating. The benefits of trees to human vitality are manifold--from absorbing carbon to mental health benefits. And people on streets with on average ten trees rated their health comparable to an increase in annual income of $10,000 (The Guardian, July 10, 2015). 

Why I got into Community Food Forestry

Blog by Joanna Chin, Doctoral Student, York University-Environmental Studies

Clever Corvids

After testing 5 captive ravens, a team of Swedish researchers at Lund University believe this clever corvid species considers the future. According to this Guardian article, the ravens completed a series of tests centered on two tasks not typical in the wild. Not only did they learn how to use tools but also figured out how to barter with humans. In one experiment, they determined which tool could be dropped down a tube to release a tasty treat.

Why the SDGs alone aren’t enough

There is a new metric when it comes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: the ‘spillover effects’ of each country on the world at large. These spillover effects include pollution, financial secrecy, and contribution to peace abroad. Since these effects are accounted for outside of a country’s borders, they are not represented by national statistics. A country might rank very highly when judged only by its own statistics (such as the US and Switzerland), but this is a lopsided view when looked at in a global context.

Seven Layers of a Food Forest

Blog by Joanna Chin, Doctoral Student, York University-Environmental Studies 

Robert Hart, a pioneer of forest gardening in the UK, had a vision of forest gardening:

“Obviously, few of us are in a position to restore the forests. But tens of millions of us have gardens or access to open spaces such as industrial wasteland, where trees can be planted and if full advantage can be taken of the potentialities that are available in heavily built up areas, new city forests can arise…”

Google is Putting this Surprising Thing on the Map

The google cars that drive around taking photos for Google Maps’ streetview are now equipped to measure something completely different. Two cars have been fitted with environmental sensors to track the air pollution of city streets. So far, the sensors have been tested out in Oakland, California, with an example of the resulting map below. The project aims to track pollution in many more U.S. cities and will make this data available to U.S. policy makers and nonprofits.

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