Second-hand clothing has emerged as a $175 billion global business. Now the brands that make the clothes being re-sold want a cut of the action.
The internet consumes a lot of electricity. 416.2TWh per year to be precise. To give you some perspective, that’s more than the entire United Kingdom.
Design a sustainable city for the future
What are the practices which will leave the world better than it is now? What are the aspects of our environment that we wish to encourage, compared to those we want to avoid? How can we ensure that the things we like become the norm by the time our grandchildren arrive?
Don’t get firewood from the fruit-bearing trees. Strip the bark from the poisonous ones.
Mann suggests, the Europeans were wrong. They had quite literally failed to see the forest for the trees. The environment laden with fruit, vegetables and calories wasn’t something that happened to people: it was the result of people. The lush, dense rainforest, so alien to Europeans hacking through it with machetes, was not actually a tabula rasa, any more than the American northwest. It was, instead, the result of an independent invention of agriculture – and an agriculture quite unlike any other in the world.
Human civilization has a waste problem, and it’s likely to get worse as population levels grow and a consumerist mentality becomes the global norm. But there are many clever, practical ways to deal with waste, including bioremediation – a nature-inspired approach.
I was also intrigued by Jim Groom’s piece on managing your cloudlets by turning applications off when you are not using them on Reclaim Cloud. Although Groom’s focus was on cost, I think this too has a sustainable focus as well.
On a side note, are the plethora internet of things that fill every gap in our life with data essential? It was interesting reading about decarbonising as a possible approach to sustainability of environment and our privacy.
Some experts are seriously considering a proposal to harvest Antarctic icebergs and haul them to Cape Town. What are the chances it will succeed?
Whatever its other ethical contortions, Silicon Valley has an environmental conscience. Facebook has pledged to, sooner or later, power its operations using “100% clean and renewable energy”. Google says it has already achieved that goal. So does Apple. Yet even if you factor in efficiency improvements, beneath many of these claims lies a reality in which the vast and constant demand for power means such companies inevitably use energy generated by fossil fuels, and then atone for it using the often questionable practice of carbon offsetting.
Green innovation comes in many forms. And promising project don’t have to be big, they only have to make a start.
This episode of Future Tense captures a number of projects currently being explored associated with sustainability.