• Good and Easy Plants to Take Care of

    Plants in your home and workplace can reduce stress and make the air you breath cleaner. If I had my way then every wall would be a bio wall. Since that’s not possible I’m happy to advocate for some plants that are easy to care for. Even if you don’t have a green thumb then these plants are for you.

    • ZZ plant
    • Asparagus fern
    • Rubber plant
    • Lucky bamboo
    • Snake plant

    You’ve probably seen the super popular snake plant on Instagram or at your local coffee shops and restaurants. Their vertical, spear-like leaves make them stand out in a sea of green. Not to be confused with the spider plant, snake plants can come in a number of varietals: tall or short, with different leaf and color patterns. This was the second plant I bought to sit on my floor, and boy, do I love the heck out of it. They add a very exciting, bold visual element to any living space—alone or among other plants.

    Probably one of my favorite features is that they don’t attract many pests or at all, and according to NASA, they keep the air inside the home clean. But like the ZZ plant, don’t eat it.

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    Enforcing Environmental Laws can Save the Planet

    Nations around the world have been putting more and more environmental protection laws on the books. This has been good to see. However, with many new things it takes awhile for people to get used to them, accordingly the enforcement of these laws has been lax. This means that if want to stop corporations from causing massive environmental we need to actually enforce the law, thankfully this is easier than it might sound.

    “It really is something that all countries share,” Carl Bruch, the director of International Programs at the Environmental Law Institute and one of the authors of the report, said in a phone interview. “We do have a lot of environmental laws that are on that books that could be so much more effective if they were actually fully implemented.”

    On the justice front, sometimes a lack of proper training and education for judges can disrupt the systems in place to enforce environmental law. In Ecuador, for example, a non-government organization sued to prevent a pine tree plantation from being erected in a native grassland ecosystem. But the judge, unaware of Ecuador’s constitutional provisions that allow anybody to bring forward a suit in protection of the environment, dismissed the case and allowed the plantation to be built, the UN report noted.?

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    Concordia University Launches Sustainable Bonds

    Fundings research can get expensive, particularly when looking into cutting edge technology and techniques. In order to fund research at a new lab at Concordia University the school has launched a sustainable bond. Other schools have done this around the world in order to raise funding, Concordia is the first in Canada to do so. What’s different about Concordia’s bond issuance is related to research and not the facility itself.

    Concordia’s $25-million senior unsecured bond offers investors a 3.626 per cent yield and has a duration of 20 years — the longest for any sustainable bond in Canada, according to Denis Cossette, the university’s chief financial officer. The bond will be used to reimburse the university of the capital it spent on financing its Science Hub, which will be home to aquatic biology, microscopy, cellular imaging and chemical and materials engineering labs for researchers.

    It’s the work that will take place inside the building that allowed Concordia to issue sustainable bonds instead of green bonds, Cossette said. The former required certification assuring that the Science Hub and the work that the university plans to conduct inside will contribute to three of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals — affordable and clean energy; industry, innovation and infrastructure; and climate action.

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    We’ve Destroyed the Planet, Let’s Leave Something Beautiful Behind

    We’re presently living in the anthropocene and it’s all our fault. The effects of industrialization will be felt for thousands of years to come and be evident millions of years from now (found in everything from fossil records to chemicals). There is a good chance that humanity will go extinct thanks to its own actions. You’re probably wondering where the good news is. It’s in art.

    Paola Antonelli, a curator from MOMA, launched a project titled Broken Nature to address this future in the hopes it won’t happen; but if it does we will leave something beautiful behind for future life. She was recently interviewed by Fast Company about the project:

    ?There are two in completely different areas of the world: One is?Futurefarmers?by Amy Franceschini. She has a project called Seed Journey, in which a sailboat goes from Oslo to Istanbul, and it carries artists and bread bakers and activists and philosophers and carries wheat seeds that are indigenous to those different places. It’s about trying to bring back these original breeds of seeds and to also bring with them that tradition. It’s a beautiful journey by sea of biodiversity.

    Another project is?Totomoxtle?in Mexico by Fernando Laposse. He uses the husks of corn to create new materials, and he does so by harnessing the craftsmanship of the people who grow corn breeds in different parts of Mexico. He’s also trying to help local populations revert to the indigenous breeds of corn that are maybe yielding less each year, because so much indigenous corn has been substituted by genetically modified breeds that yield more each year. Ultimately, it’s about empathy, and a love of the land and the communities.

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    Economists: Let’s all Work Less

    We all work too much. Indeed, millennials are the hardest working generation due to structural effects of poor policy from preceding generations (like the 2008 crash and encouraging rent seeking behaviour). Both the boomers and Gen X earned more for their work than millennials, so what’s the point of current working culture of itself isn’t working? It’s high time that we rethink productivity in relation to wages and time. Economists are on board, plus there are a litany of other reasons to work fewer hours.

    Working fewer hours was once seen as an essential indicator of economic and social progress. I explore this history in my book Whatever Happened to the Leisure Society?

    It’s time to put reduced working hours back on the political and industrial agenda.

    There are strong arguments for working fewer hours. Some are economic. Others are about environmental sustainability. Yet others have to do with equity and equality.

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