Gibbons Park Montessori School Food Forest Project

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

One Group’s Effort to Keep Nature from Getting Bogged Down

The site of Tidmarsh Farms was a commercial cranberry bog until 2010. It produced 1% of Ocean Spray’s harvest. New, more efficient ways of farming have made farms like Tidmarsh inessential, and so the owners decided to ‘rewild’ the bog by slowly turning it back into the coastal wetland it once was. Through careful planning and construction, the site now has a stream that connects to the ocean. Herring can now swim through this stream in order to spawn. As well, previously scarce white cedars are now growing once again in their native habitat.

The Companies Running Circles Around the Traditional Business Model

The Conference Board released a report showing what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to big companies and the circular economy. The traditional linear model of ‘take, make, waste’ results in a huge amount of consumption and waste (85 billion tons of global natural resource use annually as of 2015, a number which is expected to double by 2050). This approach is not sustainable - neither for the companies nor for the planet.

Fantastic Fungi

“Mushroom mycelium represents rebirth, rejuvenation, regeneration.”

             - Paul Stamets, Mycologist, Author, and Advocate

Brave New Voices

I have struggled in my own research to integrate the arts into communicating our research outcomes, in the belief that if you engage both the heart and the mind, people will move more to action.

Paying Back Double

This new study is really cool, showing again that by doing right by the environment is doing right for yourself. Did you know that people who live on a street with 10 more trees on average (both on the street and in their backyards) makes you feel as healthy as if you were seven years younger or making $10,000 more a year?

Redesign of the Built Environment

Another note from New York City: Vision42Design is a cool competition that challenges designers and architects to put forth a hugely ambitious and wildly interesting conceptual plan that dares to imagine 42nd street with no cars in sight.

The World is Definitely Changing

A French and Dutch design firm called The Cloud Collective  has come up with an amazingly innovative and creative way to extract damaging Co2 from busy roadways and convert it into oxygen, using algae. The algae absorb the Co2 emissions, and combined with the absorption of sunlight, convert it into oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. The benefits don't end there. Their innovative design allows for the algae to be even more useful once it has matured.

The Good Society--Rural Revitalization

This interview with Zita Cobb about the revitalization of Fogo Island touches on a major issue in sustainable community development, the revitalization of small and rural communities. Cobb states we need a revolution of thought, recognizing that nature and culture are the two great garments of human life. We have faulty accounting, let us reflect as a country, who hasn’t met a Canadian whose money didn’t come from a rural place?

So Much Innovation is Happening

The Vancouver Sun just reported on new social housing built in the Downtown Eastside out of shipping containers.

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