Hunters issued permits to import lion trophies to United States

July 27, 2018 by  
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A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has revealed that the U.S. government has issued over three dozen permits allowing trophy parts hunted from lions to be brought back into the United States from Africa. Despite the permits’ issue, lions remain on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to their threatened survival status in the wild. Friends of Animals obtained the documents and released them through The Huffington Post , which reported the animal rights violation on Thursday. The memorandum , released by the United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service on March 1, 2018, removes trophy import bans dating as far back as 1995. “If African wildlife is to survive the next few decades in their homelands, these elephants, lions and other animals—coveted by hunters for their strength and beauty—must be worth more alive than dead. That means safeguarding habitat along with photographic safaris and ecotourism must outpace blood-drenched trophy hunting expeditions,” declared Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals, in a press release. Related: The Trump Administration decides to allow the import of elephant trophies after all New rules by the Fish and Wildlife Service require the filing of a FOIA request to see the details of government-issued permits that are determined on an individual basis – information that used to be publicly available . In this case, the majority of the permit recipients are Republican donors or are part of Safari Club International, a hunting advocacy group. While big game hunters argue that their activities help conservation efforts and local economies, animal rights supporters say that killing big game animals only further endangers their already at-risk populations. + Friends of Animals Via EcoWatch and The New York Times

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Hunters issued permits to import lion trophies to United States

The case for linking disaster response to community resilience

November 16, 2017 by  
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Instead of donating money randomly, align corporate resources behind helping get local economies and small businesses back on their feet.

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The case for linking disaster response to community resilience

Green finance will soon become a thing of the past

November 16, 2017 by  
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The chair of the U.K.’s Green Finance Taskforce disabuses any notion that green loans and bonds are niche products.

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Green finance will soon become a thing of the past

Investors can calm western wildfires

November 16, 2017 by  
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A new network has bonded together to use finance to weaken the devastation of forest fires.

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Investors can calm western wildfires

An open letter on COP23 from Walmart and WWF

November 16, 2017 by  
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Why the world’s largest retailer is linking arms with the world’s biggest environmental NGOs.

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An open letter on COP23 from Walmart and WWF

Trash to Cooking Fuel: Recycled Paper Can Replace Firewood in Haiti, Save Forests

October 15, 2011 by  
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It’s Blog Action Day, 2011 (BAD11) and this year’s theme is Food. Through this post, Ecopreneurist wants to bring the focus on energy and food. Cooking fuel is taken for granted in developed societies, but this is a critical need in poverty and disaster-prone countries, a need that influences the delicate balance between the society, economy and the environment.  Read what our sister sites are sharing for BAD11 here ! Growing and cooking food presents different problems in different parts of the world. In poverty and disaster stricken Africa, energy to meet cooking needs is a complex problem that has led to complicated environmental, economic and social situations. Levels of Deforestation in Underdeveloped Countries According to the International Lifeline Fund (ILF) , this is a very serious issue. The ILF is a non-profit organization that focuses on simplicity; their programs utilize basic cost-effective, innovative technology and smart interventions that promote self-sufficiency and provide sustainable solutions to underprivileged communities. During the past two decades, Sudan, Uganda and much of the rest of East Africa have lost one-third of their forest cover – about half of which is attributable to the use of wood for cooking. On an even larger scale, Africa loses approximately 9.9 million acres of forest every year – twice the global rate of deforestation. In reality, this means that for every 28 trees that are cut down, only one tree is planted. Impacts of Deforestation The environmental impacts of this practice are disastrous and evident when 80% of sub-Saharan Africa’ s population relies on solid biomass fuels for cooking – primarily wood and charcoal. This dependency has cost the country its forests, sapped its fertility, and set the stage for an increasing series of natural disasters. But there are other social and health impacts too. The ILF adds, Depressed living standards: a typical female villager will spend approximately one-third of her time collecting wood and cooking. Sexual violence: in insecure regions like Darfur, collection of firewood is the single greatest risk factor for rape. Respiratory disease: indoor air pollution resulting from open fire cooking is responsible for 300,000 to 500,000 premature deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa each year. Energy Issues in Haiti In disaster stricken Haiti, International Lifeline Fund’s program, is working to wean the country off this lethal addiction. Throughout Haiti, 95% of the population relies on wood and/or charcoal for cooking. This cooking method has ravaged the environment, and poses a huge economic cost to families as well. In the aftermath of the earthquake, the cost of charcoal accounts for approximately 40% of the income of the typical Haitian family. How ‘Waste Management’ Can Help Deforestation in Haiti Haiti: Smart Stove, Image Credit, The Adventure Project ILF’s initiative in Haiti seeks to address these urgent problems by providing fuel saving stoves that is designed to run on either wood or briquettes that is recycled paper compressed into briquettes. This is part of  a two-part solution to the problems of fuel demand and excessive waste. When using briquettes made from waste, stoves save 100% of wood or charcoal that would have been previously used. When briquettes are unavailable and wood is the only option, the stoves save 60-80% of wood as compared to cooking on a traditional fire or charcoal stove. There is a tremendous amount of waste paper that is available for recycling or re-use, and this creates a wonderful opportunity. Watch this ‘Trash to Cash’ video from ILF. The program is successful with locals reporting that they liked the stoves because the stoves are cooler to sit near, safer for children and safer for cooking with near tents. One recipient said, “With my stove I am able to purchase less charcoal, which means I help protect the environment and save money. For me this project is more than just giving people a stove; there is solidarity between ILF and the people; also this program is helping us to re-build our country so that Haiti can be more beautiful than before the earthquake.” Amen to that.

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Trash to Cooking Fuel: Recycled Paper Can Replace Firewood in Haiti, Save Forests

Local Orbit Makes Local Produce Easy to Buy and Sell in Detroit

September 26, 2011 by  
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Locally grown food is the rage these days, with more and more consumers clearly concerned about where their food is coming from. There is an increasing demand for farm produce and growing need to connect directly with producers. But sometimes it’s not always easy to get local food. What do you do if you want locally grown produce, but cannot visit week-day farmer markets? Local Orbit is a new way to buy food and other local goods direct from producers in your community, if you live in the greater Detroit area. Erika Block is the founder of Local Orbit, an Ann Arbor, MI-based tech startup that facilitates the distribution of local, sustainably farmed food and expects to roll Local Orbit out to many more markets nationwide by 2012 – 2013. How Does Local Orbit Work? Each week, sellers update their inventory. Buyers shop online. Within a 24-hour period, sellers deliver their orders to hub sites, which aggregate and pack orders for individual buyers. Buyers either pick up their orders or have them delivered. Wholesale orders that meet basic minimum quantities are delivered directly to the buyer. Local Orbit makes a small, flat-rate percentage on each sale, similar to selling on eBay or Amazon Marketplace. There is no fee for buyers to shop or for sellers to list. Sellers know the fee percentage upfront and work that into their listing price, so there are no hidden charges for anyone. That’s it. Local Orbit is trying to relink the food chain to make local food widely available and easy to buy.  Local Orbit for Buyers, Image Credit, Local Orbit Local Orbit for Sellers: Image Credit, Local Orbit Why did Local Orbit Come About? Local Orbit has evolved after couple of years of conversations with all stakeholders helping to bring ‘local’ into mainstream -farmers, food producers, chefs, eaters and people working to solve food distribution challenges. The need arose from obvious disconnected markets and inefficient communications. Independent food producers are struggling to build sustainable businesses and provide really good food for their customers. They need distribution and marketing support Producers/ Farmers Sell Well Local Orbit’s online tools provide a “back office in a box” for food hubs, entrepreneurs, farmers markets, coops, institutions and community organizations working to increase local and regional food distribution. Producers get help with all the tools to tell their stories and efficiently manage direct sales.  Market coordinators get customized web sites with e-commerce, payment processing, inventory management, marketing, logistics and customer service. Buyers Score Local and Fresh Produce Buyers get convenient, streamlined purchasing and a direct, traceable supply chain. They have easier access to food that is produced locally and are spending their dollars on local farmers and businesses. Erica Block are working to make local, sustainably produced food widely available and easy to buy -for everyone and was recently chosen as a 2011 PopTech Social Innovation Fellow . Kudos Erica!

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Local Orbit Makes Local Produce Easy to Buy and Sell in Detroit

The method method: A Cleaner Clean, Design + Innovation and Just Plain Weird

September 23, 2011 by  
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Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry, method co-founders, Image courtesy: method Flashback to the year 2000:   Eric’s wondering why cleaning products are so poorly designed, and Adam’s dreaming of green cleaners that actually work and aren’t stinky. Together, these two childhood friends come up with an idea to revolutionize the cleaning world with stylish, eco-friendly products made with non-toxic ingredients that clean like heck and smell like heaven. 2001: method is born, and the Eric and Adam we are talking about are Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry, childhood friends and co-founders of method. Fast forward to 2011: In 10 years, method has grown into a $150 million brand — a brand synonymous with green, good and successful. It was ranked the 7th fastest growing company in America by Inc. Magazine in 2006 and the 16th most innovative company in the world by Fast Company. How did method, in 10 years, turn the cleaning business industry upside down, redefine cleaners and set new standards for cleaning supplies? Eric and Adam reveal their successes are tied to their 7 obsessions! They talk about the method story in a book they released this week called ‘The method method’ (an excellent read that is both humorous and gripping). They call these core strategies “obsessions” because they realize that unless you are obsessed about your business values and practices, they could fade away as your business grows. Eric spoke exclusively to Ecopreneurist on the book and these obsessions that make method. Why did they get into the cleaning products business? Eric says “In advertising, I was always trained to look at cultural-shifts in consumer behavior where larger brands are not delivering and we realized this was the right place to be. We asked ourselves, what we could do differently and saw tremendous opportunity in this industry”. Tip: There is wonderful opportunity in well-established industry sectors, where environmental aspects or as Eric says, “cultural shifts” in consumer behavior are not addressed by larger establishments. This is a place small business owners can make a difference. Eric then spoke about partnerships and how the diversity in education and work between the co-founders actually laid a strong foundation for their business model. Eric’s background in advertising and design coupled with Adam’s experience with sustainability and engineering helped method become method. Eric says this partnership was “essential”. He goes on to add, “Our backgrounds were so different, that it helped us find new ways of collaborating, bring about a combination of design + function, that is unique to method. Without Adam, method would have been all life-style design and not much green. Without me, method would have been another drab green cleaner.” Tip: Collaborating with diverse professionals may actually add a unique USP to your product or service, especially in green business where many symbiotic relationships already exist and thrive. As Eric looks back on the 10 years, he says, “Locking down our obsessions and making them integral to our company was very important. As a company grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to adhere to these values.” One of method’s “obsessions” was to create a “culture club” or “branding from the inside out”. Eric says, “Creating and maintaining cultures continues to be the hardest value to upkeep. It’s always in motion and changing. Our goal is to create a culture that would inspire us to do our best work while enriching our lives.” He also has two pieces of advice for budding eco-entrepreneurs. One: Starting out a company that is just “green” is not enough these days. Take a product or service and add “green” to it by “disrupting the world of business as-usual.” Two: Emphasize the human connection associated with your product or service. “It’s hard to encourage people to adopt good only on the basis that its good for the planet. To make a lasting impression, bring out the connection that benefits their home, health and daily lives.” So after a glorious 10 years, what is in store for the next decade at method? Eric is thrilled with the excellent foundation that has been created. He says, “The cleaning industry is very dirty- so there is still lots to clean up. We want to continue to grow into newer markets and countries while educating consumers. And of course continue to innovate to stay ahead.” Ahem to that and an even more glorious decade ahead.

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The method method: A Cleaner Clean, Design + Innovation and Just Plain Weird

Moving Planet: What Are You Doing to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels?

September 22, 2011 by  
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Moving Planet, 24th September 2011 will be a day of action against climate change- a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels. Moving Planet is an international day of action planned by 350.org . It is intended to build support for moving the planet away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable transportation. On September 24, 2011 participants from over 175 countries will hold events aimed at solving the climate change crisis by eliminating our global dependence on fossil fuels. What is the Goal of the Day? The goal is to get moving beyond fossil fuels—both symbolically by pouring into the streets in the thousands on foot, bicycle and other means of sustainable movement, and politically by bringing powerful demands to our leaders that day to move beyond fossil fuels to a 350 ppm world. Mobilizing for individual and community solutions will continue to be important— but one of the main goals for Moving Planet is to demand government action, especially in places where governments are stalling on climate action despite the overwhelming urgency of the science.  The Moving Planet is not just about sustainable actions- but also about delivering a clear list of demands. Science-based policies to get us back to 350 ppm. A rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions. A mobilization of funding for a fair transition to a 350 ppm world. Lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters.  What is a 350 ppm World? The ideology behind 350.org’s campaign is the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For all of human history until about 200 years ago, our atmosphere contained 275 parts per million of carbon dioxide. By now—the planet has about 392 parts per million CO 2  – and this number is rising by about 2 parts per million every year. Scientists are now saying that’s too much – that number is higher than any time seen in the recorded history of our planet.  350 parts per million is what many scientists, climate experts, and progressive national governments are now saying is the safe upper limit for CO 2  in our atmosphere. Why Focus on Moving Away from Fossil Fuels? The global fossil fuel infrastructure is a threat to our future everywhere, polluting our oceans, our land, our communities, our air, and our children’s lungs. It’s corrupting our politics with over $600 billion in subsidies globally, and hundreds of millions in campaign contributions in the United States in the last 10 years. The continued burning of coal and oil is what will tip climate change into climate catastrophe – getting off fossil fuels is the number one thing we need to do to get below 350ppm. Fossil fuels connect to many issues—sustainable agriculture, transportation, and water to name a few. What is Everyone Doing and What Action Can You Take to Join In? Some of the events happening include- Students in the Dominican Republic are painting the first bike lanes in Santo Domingo. Hundreds in Ukraine will be “flash-dancing” in the main square of Kiev. A massive parade is planned in Egypt , where participants will wear blue clothing to form a giant human Nile river. Hundreds of Parisians will unite to form an image of a wind-turbine. In New York , a giant bike ride calling for climate action will end at the United Nations General Assembly. You can find an event happening in your area or start your own!

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Moving Planet: What Are You Doing to Move Beyond Fossil Fuels?

The Cleanweb Hackathon Invites Innovative Minds to Do Social Good Via Technology

September 5, 2011 by  
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The  CleanWeb Hackathon is an upcoming gathering (September 10 & 11th) in San Francisco to demonstrate the impact of applying information technology to resource constraints. The goal is to organize a competition to build apps and hacks exploiting new sustainable business models while leveraging the mobile and social web. The hackathon is an interesting concept that builds on creative thinking and information technology. We challenge attendees on what they can do in 24 hours with utility, transport and smart grid datasets that might just change the world just a little bit. You will spend an intense 24 hours hacking and presenting with some of the nation’s brightest developers. At the end of a marathon hack session, teams will demo their apps and hacks for the audience and a group of select judges. The event will bring together Developers, Entrepreneurs, Students interested in CleanWeb. It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop something great, learn about CleanWeb and meet like minds. Sunil Paul is the brain behind CleanWeb and his group is looking to bring in inspired and talented developers who want to create CleanWeb tools in an attempt to win some $5,000 worth of prizes. Sunil invests in cleantech and is also co-founder and chairman of the Clean Economy Network , the largest green business organization the US and Spring Ventures , venture fund that invests in and incubates novel technologies and companies addressing resource scarcity, energy security and climate change. So What is CleanWeb? “CleanWeb” is a category of clean technology that leverages the capability of the internet, social media, and mobile technologies to address resource constraints. At the Green:Net conference  in April, the Spring Ventures founder said “The next big wave will be in the “CleanWeb,” which marries information technology enhancements — such as Twitter, Facebook and the social web — with green initiatives. Information technology is actually going to prove as valuable as the application of new materials and nano-technology and bio-technology have been for the environment.” Watch Sunil’s speech on the topic at Green:Net in April here . Some examples of the CleanWeb in action are the rise of car-sharing services, which reduce emissions dramatically by allowing users to find rides with others. Another example is the room-sharing service  AirBnB , which allows people to rent out rooms their homes, and has already booked two million nights around the world since 2008. Another promising area for CleanWeb innovation is transportation. Paul says, “There are a wave of companies trying to make more efficient use of your vehicle by sharing it with others,” including  Spride , And mobile applications for these services put a car at your fingertips. If there is a symbol of CleanWeb’s opportunity it is the cell phone.” With all this potential, the upcoming hackathon promises to harness technology and human ingenuity to bring about greater social good. It has caught the attention of companies like OPOWER and Microsoft who are platinum sponsors of the event. Some of the most creative minds will be at this event include  Yves Behar , who will be judging the competition. Yves is the founder of  fuseproject , the San Francisco and New York based design and branding firm he established in 1999 and is a well-known futurist, humanist and naturalist! Important Media and the Ecopreneurist are proud to be media sponsors of the CleanWeb Hackathon. Stayed tuned this week as we cover the event and bring you some of the awesome new ideas featured through this competition!

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The Cleanweb Hackathon Invites Innovative Minds to Do Social Good Via Technology

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