Sustainability Reads: April 20- April 26

Adidas wants to make shoes and clothing using plastic garbage from the ocean
Plastic removed from waterways, turned into fibers, and into fashion sounds great to us. Adidas and Parley for the Oceans announced a plan to do just that; and phase out plastic bags at its 2,900 stores worldwide. It is inspiring to see companies thinking strategically about how to utilize waste in different ways and reducing use of raw materials. By Natasha Geiling at Think Progress.

An Ecomodernist Manifesto
The main takeaway from this new manifesto, which was signed by noteworthy professors and other professionals, is the need to decouple economic growth from environmental impacts. And we are agree. How to do that is the interesting part that is more debatable. Their approach is urbanization, agricultural intensification, nuclear power, aquaculture, and desalination to reduce human demands on the environment, allowing more room for non-human species. Although we agree with many of the ideas presented, we feel that renewables shouldn’t be written off so quickly and further analysis is needed as to what supporting these processes really looks like in practice (including cross-discipline side-effects of such a push).

Women will suffer the worst effects of climate change
Impoverished people in developing countries are the ones that are most impacted by climate change, but women in particular will be most affected by the impacts. As the majority of impoverished women work on the land and are providers of food and water for their families, they feel and see changes in natural resources and climate and will be most hurt by these changes. For instance, women’s livelihoods will be more vulnerable to food insecurity than men, who are more able to work, and eat, outside the home. Moreover, when women are less able to fulfill their duties as managers of the household (due to higher temperatures and natural resources shortages), they are more vulnerable to domestic violence. Although they are the most vulnerable, women around the world are also very active in mitigating and adapting to climate change, participating in tree planting initiatives and climate-smart agriculture. By Sarah Milner-Barry at Quartz.

Buzz Over Bee Health: New Pesticide Studies Rev Up Controversy
(short recording from NPR) goes over two new studies on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids or “neonics”. Seeds are pre-treated with this pesticide and bees are then exposed to it as they pollinate plants. One of the studies showed that bees prefer the neonic-treated plants to non-treated plants, and may even get a buzz from them. The other study documents the negative effects of neonic pre-treated seeds on bee colonies. And there may not even be an economic benefit for farmers to even use neonics. Bees are disappearing and anything we can do to decrease our impact is beneficial.

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