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Shawano Vying to be America’s First LEED Gold Certified Elementary School 2

All photos courtesy of @somervilleinc  / Twitter As we approach the holiday season when people are more inclined to over-consume, we should take a moment to reflect on how sustainable our lifestyles are (or aren’t). More importantly, we should consider the example we’re setting for our children – the future leaders who will be responsible ...

KFC’s 60 Million Buckets of Waste 4

Photo ‘KFC, Paris’ by sophiexphotography / Flickr  KFC’s recent marketing campaign highlights a significant issue in our fast-food society: unnecessary waste. The latest commercial starts out with a black man with a white background holding a bucket of chicken where he nods to the camera and gleefully declares, “I’m in”. More people quickly join this ...

Social Change: the Forgotten Contributor

Photo by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  A recent ABC News article claims that the financial crisis has driven down global carbon emissions, leading to the largest fall in emissions in more than 30 years. Although this article concedes that carbon trading schemes – such as those implemented within the European Union – ...

Recycling That Delivers…er…Takes Away

Photo by kino-eye / Flickr Living as I do in a high-rise apartment, I’ve often been disappointed by the fact that my recycling options have been limited. For example, composting my organic waste is simply not viable since I don’t have a garden, there is no green bin collection scheduled in my area, and I ...

Second-Hand Secret to Sustainability? 2

Photo “Harlem Trash” by loan Sameli / Flickr The Urban Country explores whether purchasing second-hand products can help save ourselves, our society, and the world as we know it. In a speech yesterday to a special summit on climate change at the United Nations, President Obama claimed that fighting climate change is more difficult during ...

The Environmental Cost of Tickets 1

(Photo “Return Ticket to Hell” by aslakr / Flickr ) A friend and fellow contributor to The Urban Country made an interesting comment the other day. Nariman feels that anything that requires a ticket is outrageous. Be it driving, airplanes, concerts, sports, musicals, cruises, opera, etc. This may seem an extreme stance, but the idea ...

The Urban Country Sustainability Survey

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Eco-Living Tip: Automobile Idling Myths 4

The year is 1969. Yasser Arafat is appointed the leader of the PLO, Apollo 11 lands on the moon, the Concorde jet breaks the sound barrier and 500,000 hippies congregate on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in New York. While all of this was happening, a father somewhere was teaching his son how to drive: “Now ...

Rolling Up Sustainable Energy 1

All photos by James D. Schwartz / The Urban Country  Imagine sitting on a dock on a beautiful lake with a laptop, performing your everyday job functions. You don’t ever have to worry about commuting to work and the only factor that can deter you from staying outside is the weather. This is my dream ...

Wolfe Island Sustainable Energy Haven

Photo courtesy of Julep67 / Flickr  On June 26th, 2009, 86 high capacity wind turbines began operation on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. Each turbine is capable of 2,300 kilowatts and the expected capacity is more than 593,500 megawatt-hours of clean, renewable energy each year. I first stumbled across Canada’s second largest wind farm on ...