Close Login
Register here
Forgot password
Forgot password
or
or

Close
Close Inspiration on environmental sustainability, every month.

Currently 5,988 people are getting new inspiration every month from our global sustainability exchange. Do you want to stay informed? Fill in your e-mail address below:

Close Receive monthly UPDATES ON ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN YOUR MAILBOX EVERY MONTH.

Want to be kept in the loop? We will provide monthly overview of what is happening in our community along with new exciting ways on how you can contribute.

Close Reset password
your profile is 33% complete:
33%
Update profile Close

Community categorybanner Social Sustainabilty

MenuMenu
‘Flygskam’: The Trend Of Scandinavian Shame Of Flying
The Scandinavian countries have a reputation to uphold for being very well-organised, sustainable, and generally scoring high in overall wellbeing and happiness. Quite a number of green initiatives have firmly planted their roots in Denmark, Norway, or Sweden; and a significant part of those economies already ‘run’ on renewable energy sources. What’s more, they actively educate (young) people to take their responsibility in being a sustainable citizen of the world. (All you have to do is take a quick look at the Swedish teen Greta Thunberg to find out whether it is working.) Significant drop in passenger numbers So, it would not be unreasonable to state that in many ways, we ought to be looking at the cluster of Northern European nations to figure out where we should be going next. And the next chapter that seems to be looming on the horizon might just surprise you. The Swedish airline industry has taken a massive hit in recent months - one that it is most likely not easy to recover from. Swedavia AB, the holding company of 10 major Swedish airports, reported a significant drop in passenger numbers, that has already been ongoing for seven consecutive months. Not coincidentally, the number of Swedish airline passengers has seen a slowing growth in recent years, with last year showing the weakest overall growth in more than a decade. While the rest of the world is steadily increasing its use of airplanes for work, family or recreational purposes; the Swedish seem to become more hesitant about getting on those fuel-guzzling jets. Experts have contributed this to the phenomenon aptly called 'flying shame', which is quite literally what it says.   Flying shame as ulterior motive   People are ashamed to admit to peers that they are getting on a plane, out of fear of being crucified for not caring about the environment. 23% of Swedes indicate that they have not set foot in a plane in the recent year in order to reduce their impact on the environment; while 18% indicate that they chose to travel by train instead. This trend has even infiltrated the Swedish vocabulary, where words such as ‘flygskam’, or flying shame, ‘tagskryt’, or train bragging, and ‘smygflyga’, or flying in secret, have found their way in daily conversations. It is an interesting development. After all, air travel has become slightly 'greener' in recent times, with today’s modern jets requiring 80% less fuel. Yet it is still a major contributor to climate change as a whole - and one that is largely exempt from government regulations and limits, being given a ‘status extraordinaire’ for their apparent importance to the economy. Nonetheless, consumers are wisening up, as proven by our Swedish friends. And this quantifiable expression of flying shame is only serving as another figurative kick in the behind of the airline industry, forcing them to become more serious about reducing their emissions and finding ways of becoming ‘greener’. Scandinavian Airlines greening up Some have clearly understood the message. The partly Swedish, partly Danish Scandinavian Airlines for instance is sending a clear message with their drastic fleet overhaul. Older airplane models, such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 models, are rapidly being replaced by modern ones that use only a fraction of the fuel that their older counterparts use - such as the Airbus A320neo and A350-900. Additionally, Scandinavian Airlines is one of the frontrunners in the search for a viable biofuel , such as algae or used cooking oil.   Biofuel is pretty much the 'holy grail' of the airline industry, consisting of fully renewable and emission-free fuel sources. Not too long ago, the very first airplane to run on 100% biofuel made its ‘jump’ across the Pacific Ocean on a long haul flight. Although it wasn’t one of Scandinavian, they are definitely keeping a close eye on this trend - and finding ways of creating more biofuel, as its current limited supply is the largest bottleneck. Furthermore, SAS is looking at other ways of helping passengers reduce their impact on the environment as well, by letting them pre-book their (sustainable and locally sourced) meals and offering incentives for those who travel light. After all, a lighter plane means that less fuel is required to get it from A to B.   The company is also investing in measures that may not be as visible to passengers, but important nonetheless: it is looking to offset the emissions of its frequent fliers by heavily investing in green energy projects. For the company’s directors, the reason why is obvious: the solution is not to stop flying, as it is an integral part of the world that we live in today. Instead, the goal should be do to it more responsibly: “ Airlines, like other infrastructure, are needed in order for us to have the societies we want, with growth, transparency, openness, clarity and tolerance,” SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson says. " It’s important that people can continue to meet and that the world can continue to travel. But we can’t continue to just travel without adjusting to a sustainable way." https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community
The Scandinavian countries have a reputation to uphold for being very well-organised, sustainable, and generally scoring high in overall wellbeing and happiness. Quite a number of green initiatives have firmly planted their roots in Denmark, Norway, or Sweden; and a significant part of those economies already ‘run’ on renewable energy sources. What’s more, they actively educate (young) people to take their responsibility in being a sustainable citizen of the world. (All you have to do is take a quick look at the Swedish teen Greta Thunberg to find out whether it is working.) Significant drop in passenger numbers So, it would not be unreasonable to state that in many ways, we ought to be looking at the cluster of Northern European nations to figure out where we should be going next. And the next chapter that seems to be looming on the horizon might just surprise you. The Swedish airline industry has taken a massive hit in recent months - one that it is most likely not easy to recover from. Swedavia AB, the holding company of 10 major Swedish airports, reported a significant drop in passenger numbers, that has already been ongoing for seven consecutive months. Not coincidentally, the number of Swedish airline passengers has seen a slowing growth in recent years, with last year showing the weakest overall growth in more than a decade. While the rest of the world is steadily increasing its use of airplanes for work, family or recreational purposes; the Swedish seem to become more hesitant about getting on those fuel-guzzling jets. Experts have contributed this to the phenomenon aptly called 'flying shame', which is quite literally what it says.   Flying shame as ulterior motive   People are ashamed to admit to peers that they are getting on a plane, out of fear of being crucified for not caring about the environment. 23% of Swedes indicate that they have not set foot in a plane in the recent year in order to reduce their impact on the environment; while 18% indicate that they chose to travel by train instead. This trend has even infiltrated the Swedish vocabulary, where words such as ‘flygskam’, or flying shame, ‘tagskryt’, or train bragging, and ‘smygflyga’, or flying in secret, have found their way in daily conversations. It is an interesting development. After all, air travel has become slightly 'greener' in recent times, with today’s modern jets requiring 80% less fuel. Yet it is still a major contributor to climate change as a whole - and one that is largely exempt from government regulations and limits, being given a ‘status extraordinaire’ for their apparent importance to the economy. Nonetheless, consumers are wisening up, as proven by our Swedish friends. And this quantifiable expression of flying shame is only serving as another figurative kick in the behind of the airline industry, forcing them to become more serious about reducing their emissions and finding ways of becoming ‘greener’. Scandinavian Airlines greening up Some have clearly understood the message. The partly Swedish, partly Danish Scandinavian Airlines for instance is sending a clear message with their drastic fleet overhaul. Older airplane models, such as the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 models, are rapidly being replaced by modern ones that use only a fraction of the fuel that their older counterparts use - such as the Airbus A320neo and A350-900. Additionally, Scandinavian Airlines is one of the frontrunners in the search for a viable biofuel , such as algae or used cooking oil.   Biofuel is pretty much the 'holy grail' of the airline industry, consisting of fully renewable and emission-free fuel sources. Not too long ago, the very first airplane to run on 100% biofuel made its ‘jump’ across the Pacific Ocean on a long haul flight. Although it wasn’t one of Scandinavian, they are definitely keeping a close eye on this trend - and finding ways of creating more biofuel, as its current limited supply is the largest bottleneck. Furthermore, SAS is looking at other ways of helping passengers reduce their impact on the environment as well, by letting them pre-book their (sustainable and locally sourced) meals and offering incentives for those who travel light. After all, a lighter plane means that less fuel is required to get it from A to B.   The company is also investing in measures that may not be as visible to passengers, but important nonetheless: it is looking to offset the emissions of its frequent fliers by heavily investing in green energy projects. For the company’s directors, the reason why is obvious: the solution is not to stop flying, as it is an integral part of the world that we live in today. Instead, the goal should be do to it more responsibly: “ Airlines, like other infrastructure, are needed in order for us to have the societies we want, with growth, transparency, openness, clarity and tolerance,” SAS CEO Rickard Gustafson says. " It’s important that people can continue to meet and that the world can continue to travel. But we can’t continue to just travel without adjusting to a sustainable way." https://www.whatsorb.com/category/community
‘Flygskam’: The Trend Of Scandinavian Shame Of Flying
‘Flygskam’: The Trend Of Scandinavian Shame Of Flying
Earth Day: Colonialisme, Overexploiting Of Natural Resources
This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site. We are currently experiencing the worst environmental crisis in human history, including a “biological annihilation” of wildlife and dire risks for the future of human civilization. The scale of that environmental devastation has increased drastically in recent years. Mostly to blame are anthropogenic, or human-generated factors, including the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. Other industries like gem and mineral mining also destroy the world’s ecological sustainability, leading to deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats. Much of this traumatic exploitation of natural resources traces its origins to early colonialism. Unlimited resources to exploit, with little consideration for the long-term impacts Colonialists saw “new” territories as places with unlimited resources to exploit, with little consideration for the long-term impacts. They exploited what they considered to be an “unending frontier” at the service of early modern state-making and capitalist development. To understand our current ecological catastrophe, described as “a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 ,” we need to look at the role of colonialism at its roots. This exploration is not a debate over whether colonialism was “good” or “bad”. Instead, it is about understanding how this global process helped create the world we currently inhabit. Clear-cutting rainforests for industrial rubber Since the 15th century, the Indian Ocean has been the site of global trade. Colonialism built upon local economic systems but also profoundly built up and shaped many of the massive industries and processes that are currently at play in the region. For example, British colonialists transformed the Malay peninsula into a plantation economy to meet the needs of industrial Britain and America. This included the expanding demand for cheap rubber during the industrial revolution. Exploitative colonial policies in Singapore and the peninsula limited the economic options of poor Malays, Indians and Chinese. These workers were increasingly forced to clear cut vast swathes of rainforest to literally carve out a living for themselves at the expense of local ecosystems. Deforestation for palomoil plantations Meanwhile, more than half a century after the end of colonial rule in the Malay peninsula, the over-exploitation of local resources through extensive logging continues apace. Once numerous, Malayan tigers are now classified as a critically endangered species due, in part, to habitat loss from logging and road development. Deforestation in Malaysian Borneo also continues to accelerate, mainly due to the ongoing global demand for palm oil and lumber. Exporting for global markets In Myanmar (formerly Burma), trade in raw commodities goes back centuries. Under colonial rule, the export of minerals, timber and opium expanded enormously, placing unprecedented strain on local resources. The integration of regions north of the Irrawaddy River basin into the Burmese colonial state drastically increased economic integration between upland areas rich in natural resources and larger flows of European and Chinese capital. Today, despite generating billions of dollars in revenue, these regions are some of the poorest in the country and are home to widespread human rights abuses and environmental disasters . Extracting Africa’s gemstones and minerals The human cost of the diamond trade in West and South Africa is relatively well-known. Less known are the devastating effects on Africa’s environment that the stripping of natural resources such as diamonds, ivory, bauxite, oil, timber and minerals has produced. This mining serves a global demand for these minerals and gems. The intensive mining operations required to deliver diamonds and other precious stones or minerals to world markets degrades the land, reduces air quality and pollutes local water sources. The result is an overall loss of biodiversity and significant environmental impacts on human health. From 1867 to 1871, exploratory digging along the Vaal, Harts and Orange rivers in South Africa prompted a large-scale diamond rush that saw a massive influx of miners and speculators pour into the region in search of riches. By 1888, the diamond industry in South Africa had transformed into a monopoly, with De Beers Consolidated Mines becoming the sole producer. Around the same time, miners in nearby Witwatersrand discovered the world’s largest gold fields, fuelling the spread of lucrative new mining industries. As European powers carved up the continent in the so-called “scramble for Africa” during the late 19th century, commercial exports came to replace slavery as the primary economic motivation for direct colonial occupation. New transportation technologies and economic growth fuelled by the industrial revolution created a global demand for African exports, including gemstones and minerals that required extensive mining operations to extract. From 1930 to 1961, the diamond industry in Sierra Leone played a crucial role in shaping and defining colonial governmental strategies and scientific expertise throughout the region. Nearby Liberia was never formally colonized and was established as a homeland for freed African-American slaves. But American slaveholders and politicians saw the republic primarily as a solution to limit the “corrupting influence” of freed slaves on American society. To “help” Liberia get out of debt to Britain, the U.S.-based Firestone Tire and Rubber Company extended a $5-million loan in 1926 in exchange for a 99-year lease on a million acres of land to be used for rubber plantations. This loan was the beginning of direct economic control over Liberian affairs. Unequal power relations A report suggests that Africa is on the verge of a fresh mining boom driven by demand in North America, India, and China that will only worsen existing ecological crises. Consumer demand for minerals such as tantalum, a key component for the production of electronics, lies at the heart of current mining operations. Our understanding of colonialism is often limited to simple ideas about what we think colonialism looked like in the past. These ideas impede our ability to identify the complex ways that colonialism shaped and continues to shape the uneven power structures of the 21st century, as anthropologist and historian Ann Laura Stoler argues in her book, Duress. Unequal power relations between and within developed and developing countries continue to define the causes and consequences of climate change. A clearer understanding of where these problems came from is a necessary first step towards solving them. People in prosperous countries are often unaware that the garbage they throw out every day often gets shipped around the world to become somebody else’s problem. While people debate whether climate change should be taken seriously from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, hundreds of thousands of people are already suffering the consequences. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. By: Joseph McQuade. Cover photo by: Daniel Berehulak (Tech companies says it's too hard to investigate whether they benefit from child labour ) https://www.whatsorb.com/community/consumerism--a-society-built-on-exploitation
This article was originally published on The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Disclosure information is available on the original site. We are currently experiencing the worst environmental crisis in human history, including a “biological annihilation” of wildlife and dire risks for the future of human civilization. The scale of that environmental devastation has increased drastically in recent years. Mostly to blame are anthropogenic, or human-generated factors, including the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil. Other industries like gem and mineral mining also destroy the world’s ecological sustainability, leading to deforestation and the destruction of natural habitats. Much of this traumatic exploitation of natural resources traces its origins to early colonialism. Unlimited resources to exploit, with little consideration for the long-term impacts Colonialists saw “new” territories as places with unlimited resources to exploit, with little consideration for the long-term impacts. They exploited what they considered to be an “unending frontier” at the service of early modern state-making and capitalist development. To understand our current ecological catastrophe, described as “a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 ,” we need to look at the role of colonialism at its roots. This exploration is not a debate over whether colonialism was “good” or “bad”. Instead, it is about understanding how this global process helped create the world we currently inhabit. Clear-cutting rainforests for industrial rubber Since the 15th century, the Indian Ocean has been the site of global trade. Colonialism built upon local economic systems but also profoundly built up and shaped many of the massive industries and processes that are currently at play in the region. For example, British colonialists transformed the Malay peninsula into a plantation economy to meet the needs of industrial Britain and America. This included the expanding demand for cheap rubber during the industrial revolution. Exploitative colonial policies in Singapore and the peninsula limited the economic options of poor Malays, Indians and Chinese. These workers were increasingly forced to clear cut vast swathes of rainforest to literally carve out a living for themselves at the expense of local ecosystems. Deforestation for palomoil plantations Meanwhile, more than half a century after the end of colonial rule in the Malay peninsula, the over-exploitation of local resources through extensive logging continues apace. Once numerous, Malayan tigers are now classified as a critically endangered species due, in part, to habitat loss from logging and road development. Deforestation in Malaysian Borneo also continues to accelerate, mainly due to the ongoing global demand for palm oil and lumber. Exporting for global markets In Myanmar (formerly Burma), trade in raw commodities goes back centuries. Under colonial rule, the export of minerals, timber and opium expanded enormously, placing unprecedented strain on local resources. The integration of regions north of the Irrawaddy River basin into the Burmese colonial state drastically increased economic integration between upland areas rich in natural resources and larger flows of European and Chinese capital. Today, despite generating billions of dollars in revenue, these regions are some of the poorest in the country and are home to widespread human rights abuses and environmental disasters . Extracting Africa’s gemstones and minerals The human cost of the diamond trade in West and South Africa is relatively well-known. Less known are the devastating effects on Africa’s environment that the stripping of natural resources such as diamonds, ivory, bauxite, oil, timber and minerals has produced. This mining serves a global demand for these minerals and gems. The intensive mining operations required to deliver diamonds and other precious stones or minerals to world markets degrades the land, reduces air quality and pollutes local water sources. The result is an overall loss of biodiversity and significant environmental impacts on human health. From 1867 to 1871, exploratory digging along the Vaal, Harts and Orange rivers in South Africa prompted a large-scale diamond rush that saw a massive influx of miners and speculators pour into the region in search of riches. By 1888, the diamond industry in South Africa had transformed into a monopoly, with De Beers Consolidated Mines becoming the sole producer. Around the same time, miners in nearby Witwatersrand discovered the world’s largest gold fields, fuelling the spread of lucrative new mining industries. As European powers carved up the continent in the so-called “scramble for Africa” during the late 19th century, commercial exports came to replace slavery as the primary economic motivation for direct colonial occupation. New transportation technologies and economic growth fuelled by the industrial revolution created a global demand for African exports, including gemstones and minerals that required extensive mining operations to extract. From 1930 to 1961, the diamond industry in Sierra Leone played a crucial role in shaping and defining colonial governmental strategies and scientific expertise throughout the region. Nearby Liberia was never formally colonized and was established as a homeland for freed African-American slaves. But American slaveholders and politicians saw the republic primarily as a solution to limit the “corrupting influence” of freed slaves on American society. To “help” Liberia get out of debt to Britain, the U.S.-based Firestone Tire and Rubber Company extended a $5-million loan in 1926 in exchange for a 99-year lease on a million acres of land to be used for rubber plantations. This loan was the beginning of direct economic control over Liberian affairs. Unequal power relations A report suggests that Africa is on the verge of a fresh mining boom driven by demand in North America, India, and China that will only worsen existing ecological crises. Consumer demand for minerals such as tantalum, a key component for the production of electronics, lies at the heart of current mining operations. Our understanding of colonialism is often limited to simple ideas about what we think colonialism looked like in the past. These ideas impede our ability to identify the complex ways that colonialism shaped and continues to shape the uneven power structures of the 21st century, as anthropologist and historian Ann Laura Stoler argues in her book, Duress. Unequal power relations between and within developed and developing countries continue to define the causes and consequences of climate change. A clearer understanding of where these problems came from is a necessary first step towards solving them. People in prosperous countries are often unaware that the garbage they throw out every day often gets shipped around the world to become somebody else’s problem. While people debate whether climate change should be taken seriously from the comfort of their air-conditioned homes, hundreds of thousands of people are already suffering the consequences. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. By: Joseph McQuade. Cover photo by: Daniel Berehulak (Tech companies says it's too hard to investigate whether they benefit from child labour ) https://www.whatsorb.com/community/consumerism--a-society-built-on-exploitation
Earth Day: Colonialisme, Overexploiting Of Natural Resources
Earth Day: Colonialisme, Overexploiting Of Natural Resources
Bio-industry: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Us Eat Corrupt Meat
‘Meat the Victims’ activists invaded the stables of a pig farm. The idea behind it: if consumers know under what circumstances their steak is produced, they will naturally start eating less or no meat. Does this strategy work? The Netherlands. Protests in the bio-industry: do they really lead to less meat consumption? Many people know very well that chickens are kept in small cages, that pigs cannot dig in the mud and that the living conditions in the bio-industry are bad. For many consumers, however, that is no reason to leave their steak or opt for organic chicken. That has to do with conflicting interests. They just love to eat a meatball. And once in the supermarket they let themselves be tempted by the low price. Opinion versus behavior Cognitive dissonance then occurs: their behavior does not match their opinion. An unpleasant feeling that people then try to straighten, for example by fooling themselves. A report from the Rathenau Institute from 2001 gives a few examples of such corrective thoughts. Meat is healthy, people think Maybe the animals like to be in a cage with so much It is not pleasant on the truck, but it is only for a while. In recent years, cognitive dissonance can also be resolved by pointing to the opposition between  ‘elite’ and ‘people’. Pleas to eat less meat are then seen as an attempt to deprive the ‘common man of his meatball. Strategic ignorance Cor van der Weele, professor of humanistic philosophy at Wageningen University (Netherlands), points to another mechanism: strategic ignorance. "That is the mechanism by which people know just enough to know that it is not welcome to find out more," she says. "Then they would be faced with difficult choices or unwelcome decisions." The term comes from studies of human behavior in the Second World War, according to Van der Weele. "People who lived near concentration camps knew it was dangerous to know a lot about it. And so they closed themselves off." Initially the idea existed that ‘strategic ignorance’ only applied to extreme situations, but the mechanism appears to be ubiquitous and we all do it. "For example, many people prefer not to delve into the origin of their clothing. That would not only be a lot of work, it could also mean that you can no longer buy certain clothes, because there is, for example, child labor." Activists try to break through that strategic ignorance. By breaking open the stables, such as in Boxtel, or by taking pictures from stables or slaughterhouses with hidden cameras. That strategy could work, says Van der Weele. "There is something that gnaws in many people. Public opinion can change over time, so that people start to adjust their behavior. " In Belgium, meat consumption fell after a stream of unappetizing videos from stables and abattoirs. However, that is an exception. The visibility of abuses does not normally lead to behavioral change, says Hans Dagevos, consumer sociologist at Wageningen University (Netherlands). Bio-industry and the Holocaust After the swine fever crisis in the 1990s, a comparison was made between the bio-industry and the Holocaust. But meat consumption fell only slightly. She has been stable in recent years, despite the fact that more and more people call themselves vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. The behavioral change of meat avoiders may be offset by an increase in meat consumption by large carnivores or flexitarians eat more meat than they themselves realize. The action of ‘Meat the Victims’ will certainly miss its goal, thinks Dagevos. "The promotion reveals information, but the sender is not trusted: an action group, many of whom come from abroad, who robs a farmer," says Dagevos. After the action, the sympathy of public opinion immediately went to the farmer. "Such a farmer cannot go anywhere. He is also just a cog in a system of scaling up and low prices," says Dagevos. "Many farmers feel miserable about public opinion. They work hard, but do not feel appreciated by society. "Farmers are on the alert. This is also an explanation for the support that the raided pig farmer from Boxtel received directly from his colleagues. Yet the farmers themselves are also dissatisfied with a system of large-scale and cheap agriculture of which more than half of the production is destined for export, according to a Trouw (Dutch newspaper) survey last year. "65 percent of farmers feel that they mainly work for the directors of banks, supermarkets and suppliers," says Han Wiskerke, professor of rural sociology at Wageningen University, who cooperated in the research. "Eighty-five percent of farmers say they want to work differently, but then the consumer must also be willing to pay more for a smaller-scale, more animal-friendly production." ‘Meat the Victims' attempt to pull the curtain away from the bio-industry will have no effect in the short term. But in the end Wiskerke, just like Van der Weele, sees change coming. Consumers are increasingly asking questions about the origin of their meat. The composition of the countryside is changing: fewer and fewer farmers, more and more people who complain about odor nuisance and are concerned about environmental pollution and health risks. And finally the farmers themselves, who are equally dissatisfied. Wiskerke: "55 percent of farmers believe that the current export-oriented model will no longer be sustainable." By:  Rik Kuiper  en  Peter Giesen , Volkskrant Cover photo by: Raymond Rutting, de Volkskrant https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
‘Meat the Victims’ activists invaded the stables of a pig farm. The idea behind it: if consumers know under what circumstances their steak is produced, they will naturally start eating less or no meat. Does this strategy work? The Netherlands. Protests in the bio-industry: do they really lead to less meat consumption? Many people know very well that chickens are kept in small cages, that pigs cannot dig in the mud and that the living conditions in the bio-industry are bad. For many consumers, however, that is no reason to leave their steak or opt for organic chicken. That has to do with conflicting interests. They just love to eat a meatball. And once in the supermarket they let themselves be tempted by the low price. Opinion versus behavior Cognitive dissonance then occurs: their behavior does not match their opinion. An unpleasant feeling that people then try to straighten, for example by fooling themselves. A report from the Rathenau Institute from 2001 gives a few examples of such corrective thoughts. Meat is healthy, people think Maybe the animals like to be in a cage with so much It is not pleasant on the truck, but it is only for a while. In recent years, cognitive dissonance can also be resolved by pointing to the opposition between  ‘elite’ and ‘people’. Pleas to eat less meat are then seen as an attempt to deprive the ‘common man of his meatball. Strategic ignorance Cor van der Weele, professor of humanistic philosophy at Wageningen University (Netherlands), points to another mechanism: strategic ignorance. "That is the mechanism by which people know just enough to know that it is not welcome to find out more," she says. "Then they would be faced with difficult choices or unwelcome decisions." The term comes from studies of human behavior in the Second World War, according to Van der Weele. "People who lived near concentration camps knew it was dangerous to know a lot about it. And so they closed themselves off." Initially the idea existed that ‘strategic ignorance’ only applied to extreme situations, but the mechanism appears to be ubiquitous and we all do it. "For example, many people prefer not to delve into the origin of their clothing. That would not only be a lot of work, it could also mean that you can no longer buy certain clothes, because there is, for example, child labor." Activists try to break through that strategic ignorance. By breaking open the stables, such as in Boxtel, or by taking pictures from stables or slaughterhouses with hidden cameras. That strategy could work, says Van der Weele. "There is something that gnaws in many people. Public opinion can change over time, so that people start to adjust their behavior. " In Belgium, meat consumption fell after a stream of unappetizing videos from stables and abattoirs. However, that is an exception. The visibility of abuses does not normally lead to behavioral change, says Hans Dagevos, consumer sociologist at Wageningen University (Netherlands). Bio-industry and the Holocaust After the swine fever crisis in the 1990s, a comparison was made between the bio-industry and the Holocaust. But meat consumption fell only slightly. She has been stable in recent years, despite the fact that more and more people call themselves vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. The behavioral change of meat avoiders may be offset by an increase in meat consumption by large carnivores or flexitarians eat more meat than they themselves realize. The action of ‘Meat the Victims’ will certainly miss its goal, thinks Dagevos. "The promotion reveals information, but the sender is not trusted: an action group, many of whom come from abroad, who robs a farmer," says Dagevos. After the action, the sympathy of public opinion immediately went to the farmer. "Such a farmer cannot go anywhere. He is also just a cog in a system of scaling up and low prices," says Dagevos. "Many farmers feel miserable about public opinion. They work hard, but do not feel appreciated by society. "Farmers are on the alert. This is also an explanation for the support that the raided pig farmer from Boxtel received directly from his colleagues. Yet the farmers themselves are also dissatisfied with a system of large-scale and cheap agriculture of which more than half of the production is destined for export, according to a Trouw (Dutch newspaper) survey last year. "65 percent of farmers feel that they mainly work for the directors of banks, supermarkets and suppliers," says Han Wiskerke, professor of rural sociology at Wageningen University, who cooperated in the research. "Eighty-five percent of farmers say they want to work differently, but then the consumer must also be willing to pay more for a smaller-scale, more animal-friendly production." ‘Meat the Victims' attempt to pull the curtain away from the bio-industry will have no effect in the short term. But in the end Wiskerke, just like Van der Weele, sees change coming. Consumers are increasingly asking questions about the origin of their meat. The composition of the countryside is changing: fewer and fewer farmers, more and more people who complain about odor nuisance and are concerned about environmental pollution and health risks. And finally the farmers themselves, who are equally dissatisfied. Wiskerke: "55 percent of farmers believe that the current export-oriented model will no longer be sustainable." By:  Rik Kuiper  en  Peter Giesen , Volkskrant Cover photo by: Raymond Rutting, de Volkskrant https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Bio-industry: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Us Eat Corrupt Meat
Bio-industry: Cognitive Dissonance Makes Us Eat Corrupt Meat
Sustainability And Higher Efficiency: Smart Cities Globally
Design has a great impact on our society. Not only will it please our eye when done right, it also has the unique potential to host sustainable and healthy communities. Nothing can hurt the environment more than a poorly designed building: both in terms of sustainability and liveability.   Now that the urban population is growing exponentially, hand in hand with the overall number of people on our world, we need to think carefully about how to make sure we all ‘fit’. By 2050, another staggering two billion people are expected to move to a global city. There has to be a way to get all of them a proper home and sufficient facilities and amenities. In anticipation of this enormous change, designers and architects are working tirelessly to come up with buildings that use the available space effectively, to ensure that they use fewer resources and will be much more sustainable - while guaranteeing optimal comfort and quality of life. And in order to do so, a few trends can be identified: the driving forces behind smart design. Use of data to anticipate climate change While no-one knows exactly how climate change will affect our world, we do know that it will do so. Therefore, buildings must be built with the entire notion of global warming in mind. A concept called climate resilience plays a very important role in this. It describes the way in which we are able to adapt to climate change, or to bounce back after weather-related disasters.   So, how can we guarantee climate resilience without actually knowing what this would entail? A major headache for architects, yet at the same time one of their greatest opportunities. Those who are able to figure out a strategy for incorporating this in their design will be one step ahead of the competition.   Data plays an important role in this. Data on pollution levels, data on extreme weather events, historical trends in combination with projected sea levels and other weather-related statistics: they will help to document climate change. This, in turn, helps us to improve our designed answer. We can design buildings that tackle the root issues of climate change while being prepared for its consequences. Planning for resilience Concretely speaking, the effects of all this are best seen in the planning of our cities and buildings. Each city faces its own set of challenges in the face of changing weather patterns and the rising sea level; and the mass migration and resource scarcity that may result from this.   This is where policy and design meet in a unique feat of city-planning, that takes into account how certain areas can be kept secure, while the prevailing culture is protected and honoured - all while behaviour change is encouraged that will help cities respond to challenges and disasters.   Restricting carbon emissions A known fact is that about half of all greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to that share of the world that has been built by us, also known as the built environment. So, we should be very mindful of the impact of those objects and areas that we have built - and consider their impact on the larger environment. Especially now that the latest projections of the UN estimate that some additional 2.5 trillion square feet of new spaces will have to be built over the course of the next 40 years. This roughly adds up to a brand new New York City that has to be erected every single month during these 40 years. An amazing number, that will seriously jeopardise our environment if we do not take drastic measures to amp up the sustainability of the energy and materials that we use for this; and carefully consider where to build. Once we minimise the impact of the building on the environment, and clearly mapping out where our energy is needed the most, we can cut back on overall emissions by simply planning and working sustainably.   Designing and constructing for a changing world The far majority - about 75% - of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. We are occupying increasingly smaller amounts of space in the most crowded areas, clustering together. While this may bring along challenges, its also gives us the unique opportunity to design for the changing world. Buildings with zero or negative emissions, focused on climate resilience, and using sustainable and energy-efficient constructions: careful planning can make a world of difference in the way we build a different world. https://www.whatsorb.com/architecture/category/architecture
Design has a great impact on our society. Not only will it please our eye when done right, it also has the unique potential to host sustainable and healthy communities. Nothing can hurt the environment more than a poorly designed building: both in terms of sustainability and liveability.   Now that the urban population is growing exponentially, hand in hand with the overall number of people on our world, we need to think carefully about how to make sure we all ‘fit’. By 2050, another staggering two billion people are expected to move to a global city. There has to be a way to get all of them a proper home and sufficient facilities and amenities. In anticipation of this enormous change, designers and architects are working tirelessly to come up with buildings that use the available space effectively, to ensure that they use fewer resources and will be much more sustainable - while guaranteeing optimal comfort and quality of life. And in order to do so, a few trends can be identified: the driving forces behind smart design. Use of data to anticipate climate change While no-one knows exactly how climate change will affect our world, we do know that it will do so. Therefore, buildings must be built with the entire notion of global warming in mind. A concept called climate resilience plays a very important role in this. It describes the way in which we are able to adapt to climate change, or to bounce back after weather-related disasters.   So, how can we guarantee climate resilience without actually knowing what this would entail? A major headache for architects, yet at the same time one of their greatest opportunities. Those who are able to figure out a strategy for incorporating this in their design will be one step ahead of the competition.   Data plays an important role in this. Data on pollution levels, data on extreme weather events, historical trends in combination with projected sea levels and other weather-related statistics: they will help to document climate change. This, in turn, helps us to improve our designed answer. We can design buildings that tackle the root issues of climate change while being prepared for its consequences. Planning for resilience Concretely speaking, the effects of all this are best seen in the planning of our cities and buildings. Each city faces its own set of challenges in the face of changing weather patterns and the rising sea level; and the mass migration and resource scarcity that may result from this.   This is where policy and design meet in a unique feat of city-planning, that takes into account how certain areas can be kept secure, while the prevailing culture is protected and honoured - all while behaviour change is encouraged that will help cities respond to challenges and disasters.   Restricting carbon emissions A known fact is that about half of all greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to that share of the world that has been built by us, also known as the built environment. So, we should be very mindful of the impact of those objects and areas that we have built - and consider their impact on the larger environment. Especially now that the latest projections of the UN estimate that some additional 2.5 trillion square feet of new spaces will have to be built over the course of the next 40 years. This roughly adds up to a brand new New York City that has to be erected every single month during these 40 years. An amazing number, that will seriously jeopardise our environment if we do not take drastic measures to amp up the sustainability of the energy and materials that we use for this; and carefully consider where to build. Once we minimise the impact of the building on the environment, and clearly mapping out where our energy is needed the most, we can cut back on overall emissions by simply planning and working sustainably.   Designing and constructing for a changing world The far majority - about 75% - of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. We are occupying increasingly smaller amounts of space in the most crowded areas, clustering together. While this may bring along challenges, its also gives us the unique opportunity to design for the changing world. Buildings with zero or negative emissions, focused on climate resilience, and using sustainable and energy-efficient constructions: careful planning can make a world of difference in the way we build a different world. https://www.whatsorb.com/architecture/category/architecture
Sustainability And Higher Efficiency: Smart Cities Globally
Sustainability And Higher Efficiency: Smart Cities Globally
Carbon Neutral Companies: Let Your Business Heal The World
Although most CEO’s and business owners will agree that they are actually trying to leave their footprints on the world, as this will be a testament to the value that their company adds to the life of customers, there is one footprint that they’d like to get rid of. This would be their carbon footprint, or the impact that running their operations has on the environment at large.   It seems as if customers have developed a rather significant soft spot for companies who are - or who claim to be - committed to ‘doing the right thing’. Greening up their activities, making their supply chain more transparant and printing their business cards on recycled paper: as long as it can be sold as a ‘sustainable practice’, it will be employed, and promoted heavily to boot. For a very good reason, too. Companies who give back are generally enjoying a higher stock price and higher profits than those who usually forgo investments in their corporate social responsibility. Thus, it is hardly surprising that a growing number of businesses have announced their ambitions to become carbon neutral.   A real-life company that has already wiped out its carbon footprint Yet becoming carbon neutral is something that is much easier said than done, as most who have attempted to do so will wholeheartedly agree on. There are, however, some who have already managed to do so. Take the architect practice of Luigi Rosselli Architects, based in Sydney, Australia. Not only have they designed their practice to take full advantage of carbon neutrality, they are definitely walking the talk.   The company has made a business out of designing energy-efficient buildings for its customers, who are eager to jump on the carbon neutral bandwagon as well. Its portfolio includes elegant residential places that usually focus on off-form concrete, that appear to seamlessly blend in to the landscape - being completely in tune with its environment. But even more importantly, the company has dedicated itself to being fully carbon neutral. The entire practice micromanages all of its employees’ behaviours and activities. This ranges from the way that the employees travel to and from work, to the amount of paper that is used and wasted.   How does it work, a  carbon neutral company? The company’s founder Luigi Rosselli recently gave an interview to Archinect Features, in which he highlighted the ways in which the company has managed to achieve carbon neutrality. He explains how the company first focused on the energy that was used on a day-to-day basis. All of this is generated by solar panels.   At the same time, the amount of energy needed is reduced drastically by the smart office design, where the building houses all kind of passive cooling measures: including a terracotta tile rise soleil that reflects the hot sun, and large windows that can be opened for cross ventilation. Another huge issue that was tackled upfront is that of waste reduction. Printing is restricted and only done when there is no other option, and even then still done on recycled paper (double sided, obviously). Besides paper, single use plastics and disposable coffee cups are also largely banned. Instead, workers are using paper crockery and reusable containers for their lunches, whether they bring it from home or pick it up from one of the local, organic cafes in the area. Packaging and other soft plastic materials are diligently recycled, while  food leftovers and coffee grounds are used as fertiliser for the gorgeous roof terrace garden and street level planting. Some more ways of achieving a carbon neutral status A large share of most companies’ carbon footprint is made up of transportation - in particular, that of its employees travelling to and from work. Rosselli introduced a system that heavily encourages its workers to use public transportation or to go to work on foot or by bike. For this purpose, the office is conveniently located close to a major transport hub and boasts various easily accessible facilities for storing bikes. Any air travel required is offset directly when booking, through the airline. And at the end of each year, a complete inventory is made: how much energy was consumed, how much waste was generated, and what was the impact of transportation and travelling? The remainder is usually offset through carbon credits. Or, according to Rosselli: “We are always innovating and looking for proactive ways to reduce our carbon footprint so that we can eventually almost eliminate this stage of the process.” This is a great effort that should be applauded. Even if other companies would only take on a fraction of this attitude, perhaps only focusing on reducing the transportation needs of its employees, it could already make a big difference. It never is a zero-sum game, and it definitely is not now: companies should, if anything, consider the positive example it will set for others to follow. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/circular-econ-
Although most CEO’s and business owners will agree that they are actually trying to leave their footprints on the world, as this will be a testament to the value that their company adds to the life of customers, there is one footprint that they’d like to get rid of. This would be their carbon footprint, or the impact that running their operations has on the environment at large.   It seems as if customers have developed a rather significant soft spot for companies who are - or who claim to be - committed to ‘doing the right thing’. Greening up their activities, making their supply chain more transparant and printing their business cards on recycled paper: as long as it can be sold as a ‘sustainable practice’, it will be employed, and promoted heavily to boot. For a very good reason, too. Companies who give back are generally enjoying a higher stock price and higher profits than those who usually forgo investments in their corporate social responsibility. Thus, it is hardly surprising that a growing number of businesses have announced their ambitions to become carbon neutral.   A real-life company that has already wiped out its carbon footprint Yet becoming carbon neutral is something that is much easier said than done, as most who have attempted to do so will wholeheartedly agree on. There are, however, some who have already managed to do so. Take the architect practice of Luigi Rosselli Architects, based in Sydney, Australia. Not only have they designed their practice to take full advantage of carbon neutrality, they are definitely walking the talk.   The company has made a business out of designing energy-efficient buildings for its customers, who are eager to jump on the carbon neutral bandwagon as well. Its portfolio includes elegant residential places that usually focus on off-form concrete, that appear to seamlessly blend in to the landscape - being completely in tune with its environment. But even more importantly, the company has dedicated itself to being fully carbon neutral. The entire practice micromanages all of its employees’ behaviours and activities. This ranges from the way that the employees travel to and from work, to the amount of paper that is used and wasted.   How does it work, a  carbon neutral company? The company’s founder Luigi Rosselli recently gave an interview to Archinect Features, in which he highlighted the ways in which the company has managed to achieve carbon neutrality. He explains how the company first focused on the energy that was used on a day-to-day basis. All of this is generated by solar panels.   At the same time, the amount of energy needed is reduced drastically by the smart office design, where the building houses all kind of passive cooling measures: including a terracotta tile rise soleil that reflects the hot sun, and large windows that can be opened for cross ventilation. Another huge issue that was tackled upfront is that of waste reduction. Printing is restricted and only done when there is no other option, and even then still done on recycled paper (double sided, obviously). Besides paper, single use plastics and disposable coffee cups are also largely banned. Instead, workers are using paper crockery and reusable containers for their lunches, whether they bring it from home or pick it up from one of the local, organic cafes in the area. Packaging and other soft plastic materials are diligently recycled, while  food leftovers and coffee grounds are used as fertiliser for the gorgeous roof terrace garden and street level planting. Some more ways of achieving a carbon neutral status A large share of most companies’ carbon footprint is made up of transportation - in particular, that of its employees travelling to and from work. Rosselli introduced a system that heavily encourages its workers to use public transportation or to go to work on foot or by bike. For this purpose, the office is conveniently located close to a major transport hub and boasts various easily accessible facilities for storing bikes. Any air travel required is offset directly when booking, through the airline. And at the end of each year, a complete inventory is made: how much energy was consumed, how much waste was generated, and what was the impact of transportation and travelling? The remainder is usually offset through carbon credits. Or, according to Rosselli: “We are always innovating and looking for proactive ways to reduce our carbon footprint so that we can eventually almost eliminate this stage of the process.” This is a great effort that should be applauded. Even if other companies would only take on a fraction of this attitude, perhaps only focusing on reducing the transportation needs of its employees, it could already make a big difference. It never is a zero-sum game, and it definitely is not now: companies should, if anything, consider the positive example it will set for others to follow. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/community/circular-econ-
Carbon Neutral Companies: Let Your Business Heal The World
Carbon Neutral Companies: Let Your Business Heal The World
Community

You can’t improve the world on your own. It takes a community to develop, improve and adopt sustainable ideas for them to have proper impact. Let us help you by providing inspiration and examples of such communities.

Get updates on environmental sustainability in your mailbox every month.