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Things Are Good: Boycott Bottled Water for a Better World

Bottle water is a sham and you all know this. The problem is that a lot of people don’t and that our society permits these individuals to continue their unwarranted consumption.

Water is the oil of the 21st century in terms of politics and conflict. It’s best not to make the situation worse by engaging in a system which denies people access to their local water while massive corporations make huge profits from water.

What’s more is that the water from your taps (in the developed world at least) is cleaner and safer than bottled water.

The reason you should (Read more…)

Things Are Good: The Humanitarian Douchery That is Voluntourism

“Voluntourism” is the growing trend of rich people using their vacations to go to poor places where they think they can help. A good chunk of the time these voluntourists are actually causing harm. This may seem counterintuitive but we’ve seen this before in the past with programs of the ‘adopt a child’ sort (you know, a nickel a day will save one kid).

The campaign to End Humanitarian Douchery wants to change that. If you’re not careful you’ll be engaging in modern neocolonial offensiveness.

Guan and MacNeill have even compiled a list of “The Seven Sins of Humanitarian (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Pick Up Your Butts

In Canada, like elsewhere with snow, when the spring thaw comes it reveals plants and it also reveals something gross: discarded cigarette butts. Everyone already knows that smoking kills, but some people may not know the damage done by butts.

Butt Blitz has set out to do two things: raise awareness of the harm butts case and clean them up. They are asking you to help out this weekend!

Cigarette butt litter is a growing problem everywhere. We need to raise awareness about the implications this has for the health of our ecosystems, wildlife, and our own health. The first (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center create Anti-Environmental Archives

Some nifty news out of Greenpeace’s PolluterWatch program and the Climate Investigations Centre. They have release an archive of documents that show the deceitful tactics used by climate change deniers and their ilk. A new tool to fight against people who deny the future.

In the spirit of the Tobacco Archives and Chemical Industry Archives, the new Anti-Environmental Archives provide historic reference material on organizations and people who have worked to counter the environmental movement and stop government action to protect the environment on issues from endangered species to property rights, and from pesticides to global warming.

 

This document archive provides researchers (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Turning Trash Into Health Care in Indonesia

Indonesia has a rather large number of people on reactively small landmass and as a result solid waste has become a problem. Enter Garbage Clinical Insurance which is a company focussed on turning trash collection into health care. It’s a simple solution insofar that people who can’t afford to see a doctor can bring in found trash in exchange for health care. It cleans the streets while keeping people healthy!

For patients, it’s like getting health care for free. “They think they don’t pay anything for the insurance—they just give garbage,” Albinsaid says. “So it persuades the community. And we’re (Read more…)

Things Are Good: PULP: Using Old Materials for New Movements

Art is fun and it can be even more fun when it contributes to changing the world. PULP is an organization that welcomes people (beginners to pros) who are into art and want to make art that uses pre-used materials. This year they’re throwing a party!

PULP: paper art party 2015 is an interactive art and design exhibit integrated with a live music show. The party brings together artists of all fields, musicians, activity groups, and hundreds of guests. We will be raising funds and using our collective design expertise to help a charity in Toronto. Past events have supported (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Discard These 20 Things to Improve Your Health

There are some minor things you can do around your home to improve your health and the health of the planet. These things range from where you plant trees and what you buy, Time magazine has looked in the opposite direction: what to throw away. They have a list of 20 things that (if you’re buying) you should discard.

Your stash of diet soda

If you haven’t already, you may want to reconsider your diet soda habit—especially if you’re trying to lose weight. A much-buzzed-about study published in the journal Nature found that non-caloric sweeteners such as saccharin (Sweet-n-Low), sucralose (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Amplifyd: A Platform to Stop Corporations from Doing Evil

Amplifyd Pledges – How It Works from Amplifyd on Vimeo.

Amplifyd is a new online platform that connects people to empower campaigns that want to stop corporations from doing evil things. The first campaign is focused on getting Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee to serve only organic milk in their stores.

In the future you can use the service in other ways. Is a company tearing down the rainforest or destroying land for precious minerals? Well you can use Amplifyd to get attention on the bad company!

Not all corporations are as overtly dreadful, but regardless, profits rule the day for (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Only Keep Things That Bring You Joy

Are you sick of tidying your place all the time? If you are, just stop.

There’s no need to tidy if you go through all your items and only keep things which bring you joy and improve your life. Marie Kondo has published a book on the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

I had spent three years tidying and discarding things, yet my room still felt cluttered. Would someone please tell me why my room isn’t tidy when I work so hard at it? Although I did not say this out loud, in my heart I was (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Blog Action Day 2014: Examine Inequality

This year for Blog Action Day they are tackling inequality, which is great to see! Inequality manifests in various ways that aren’t alway obvious. By having so many global participants today it shows a diversity of thinking and approaches to providing solutions to this global problem.

Be a part of blog action day and post about inequality on your site or share a post with your friends online!

Blog Action Day Livestream.

Things Are Good: Look at This Landscaping Called Xeriscaping

California is suffering a huge drought due to horrible water use policies and climate change. For some reason people love to have lawns where they naturally shouldn’t exist, this itself leads to massive water wastage and arguably microclimate issues. Thankfully, perhaps people are beginning to understand that their landscaping is a sad attempt to modify their built environment. A better solution than an artificial environment is a natural one. Xeriscaping may be a good solution to reduce water waste. Check out how it can replace lawns with aesthetic and naturally pleasing solutions.

Things Are Good: The Growth of Solar Power is Shaking Power Companies

Solar panels have come down in price rather dramatically in the last decade and if this trend continues it can be the death of old-school electric utilities. That is, unless the energy companies embrace solar and embed it into their system. Smart companies see the writing on the wall and others will start to falter.

So even though solar provides just 0.4 percent of America’s electricity, it’s growing at a shocking rate. Rooftop solar generation has roughly tripled since 2010. By some estimates, a new solar system is installed every four minutes in the United States.

To electric utilities, (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Go Ahead, Get Rid of it

There is just too much stuff in our lives nowadays. Victorian era maximalism got turned up to 11 thanks to globalization and hyper-capaitlaism. Odds are you have useless items around you right now that you thought at one time was a good idea. Well, here’s a better idea: get rid of it.

Take all that useless stuff and recycle, reuse, or donate it to better places. Of course, once you get rid of it be sure to buy less in the future.

I look forward to throwing things away every weekend. I have been living in shitty studio efficiency apartments (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Help Save The Icelandic Goat

Iceland is a beautiful country filled with beautiful life and sadly one of those lifeforms is threatened: the Icelandic goat. The goats have been on HBO’s Game of Thrones and now they all may die out if a goat farming operation can’t be saved.

You can be a part of the goat-saving operation through a new Indiegogo campaign!

There are less than 820 Icelandic goats left on Earth. Needlessly reducing their population by almost half risks the extinction of an entire species already in a desperately fragile state. You can help rescue the goats from Game of Thrones by donating (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Hippocratic Oath for Bankers

Bankers destroyed the economy and in too many countries those responsible walk free despite the damage they wrought. Iceland jailed bankers at fault in their country, but what can we do to ensure that bankers behave in the future?

Doctors take the hippocratic oath in order to practice medicine, now it’s being suggested bankers need something similar. We don’t want bankers to be like people with MBAs.

In contrast to a rigid moral regime that most ethical systems call for, the theory of virtue recognises that people’s needs are all different and as a result, argues for the fulfillment of (Read more…)

Things Are Good: China’s Changing Waste Management

China’s rate of economic development has caused massive change in the country and that includes the impact on waste management. Waste from consumer goods, industry, and other “good” things for the economy causes huge problems around the world. China is now at a turning point that can see interesting solutions to problems the developed world has had an easier time dealing with.

The sheer amount of pollution in China is causing people in the city to protest government policies. Environmental consciousness is growing in China.

Chinese waste management stands at a watershed moment. Rising environmental consciousness among the educated, urban (Read more…)

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice

Earlier today, citizens reacting to Stephen Harper’s approval of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline put B.C. Conservative MPs on notice.

The post Northern Gateway pipeline: B.C. Conservative MPs put on notice appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Northern Gateway Pipeline Opponents: This Means ‘War’

by: Lauren McCauley | First published by Common Dreams on June 18, 2014

“It’s official. The war is on,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told a crowd of hundreds who had flooded the streets of Vancouver late Tuesday following the announcement that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline.

Phillip, who is president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, told reporters that people are prepared to go to jail over this fight, “because that’s what it’s going to take.”

Phillip’s statement exemplified the widespread condemnation and vows of resistance that swiftly (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Chilean Dam Project Broken Up Thanks to Activists and Locals

Activism works, just ask the Chilean communities that stopped a hydroelectric dam from being built. The dam was going to cause a lot of local ecological havoc with little actual gain to the local populace. The Chilean government has backed down from building the dam and the communities that were to be affected are celebrating the decision. Chile is committed to supporting other forms of renewable energy that won’t cause such environmental damage.

The committee “decided to side with complaints presented by the community,” Environment Minister Pablo Badenier told reporters. “As of now, the hydroelectric project has been rejected.” (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Support The Experimental Lakes Area

The Experimental Lakes Area has suffered greatly from the Canadian government’s anti-science funding policies and has luckily been saved by the International Institute for Sustainable Development. To ensure that further damage can’t come from the ideologically-driven and anti-environment Conservative Party the ELA has turned to crowd funding to survive.

Last year, The Walrus magazine had a great article on the ELA and how beneficial it is to science and the planet.

You might have heard that the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) took it over the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) on April 1st. We are reaching out to the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Build Your Own Wind Turbine

Off the gird living just got a little easier thanks to inventor Daniel Connell who has put instructions on how to build a wind turbine for $30 online. It’s not the most efficient and powerful generator out there but anybody with basic knowledge of drills can build it.

Creating something that can deliver a few hundred watts–enough to pump water, say–might not be that difficult. Daniel Connell, who’s drawn up a blueprint to show you how, swears that anyone who “can cut paper and hold a drill” can manage it.

“I’m hoping the animation is such that nothing (Read more…)

Things Are Good: A Call For Mathematicians to Protest the NSA

The NSA is the world’s largest employer of mathematicians and now there is a movement from some mathematicians calling for a protest against the spying agency. We don’t know what they work on at the NSA but we do know that mathematicians contributed extensively to the Orwellian mass surveillance of people around the world. The revelations from Edward Snowden as shown that the NSA’s surveillance efforts have increased security risks for anybody who uses the internet.

If you’re a mathematician please don’t go work for agencies like the NSA, GCHQ, or CSEC because their unethical and immoral behaviour as institutions (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Transition From Knowing About Earth Day to Acting to Help the Earth

Today is Earth Day which is a day that calls people to be conscious of the environment and find ways to help or protect nature. It’s a great intuitive that has been around since 1970 and it’s impact continues to grow. One issue that a lot of environmental organizations run into is transitioning people’s knowledge of negative environmental behaviour into direct action.

This where a new web service called Rallyware can potentially help out. It looks alright and is one of many initiatives we’ve seen attempt this – hopefully this service will be a great success.

According to Rallyware CEO (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Help Bring Bad Mining Companies to Court

Q’eqchi’ communities in Guatemala have been resisting the push of Canadian mining company HudBay Minerals into their land. This resistance has been met by dubious practices by the Toronto-based mining corporation and now they are being brought to court. A group supporting the Q’eqchi’ communities is looking to bring attention to this matter as well as gather signatures to present.

Sign the petition now!

Q’eqchi’ communities in the Izabal region of Guatemala have faced an onslaught of these and other abuses over the past five decades at the hands of a series of Canadian mining companies who have owned the (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Eat Less Meat and Save More Wildlife

Just reducing the amount of meat one has in their diet can have a positive impact on our food system, the planet, and wildlife. Take Extinction Off Your Plate is a campaign to get people not to be vegetarian, just to get people to reduce their meat intake. Producing meat in the modern farming system requires a lot of energy; indeed, Stanford warns about the dangers of global meat production.

It’s easy to be vegetarian, but remember – even decreasing your meat consumption can have positive impacts on the world and your health!

Meat production is one of the (Read more…)