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The Bicycle City Film – Lifting People out of Poverty

Photo by Greg Sucharew / The Bicycle City What happens to an impoverished developing nation town when you flood it with 20,000 bicycles? You lift three times that number of people out of poverty. That is the premise of The Bicycle City – a feature length documentary film by Director/Producer Greg Sucharew. From the Bicycle ...

Use Your Brain, Wash Your Spoon 8

An e-mail forward on plastic cutlery has been floating around for a while – so I thought I would revise it slightly and post it here: It’s pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, ...

Grocery Shopping Like a Champ

Today, Saturday October 24th is the first annual “International Day of Climate Action”, organized by 350.org, an activist organization with the goal of cutting atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions to below 350 ppm (the current level is 389 ppm of CO2). There are more than 3000 events happening around the world in 160 countries. In recognition ...

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 ...

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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Operation Imani – Ideas for Sustainable African Development

Between 2005 and 2007, Greg John had a life changing experience. He lived in Tanzania while working on a CIDA internship to help the impoverished African country develop its infrastructure. Coming from a cushy life in Canada, living in one of the top 10 poorest countries in the world was an eye opener for the ...

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 ...