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International Day of Clean Air for blue skies

Every year, 7 September is a UN observance for clean air. In 2022, the theme is “The Air We Share” which neatly encapsulates one of the biggest issues which is that air pollution is inherently trans-boundary and is illustrative of why we need global co-operation to solve air pollution and climate change problems. As the UN says: ?ir pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health and one of the main avoidable causes of death and disease globally, with some estimated 6.5 million premature deaths (2016) across the world attributed to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and the elderly, especially in low-income populations as they are often exposed to high levels of ambient air pollution and indoor air pollution from cooking and heating with wood fuel and kerosene. See more on the UN website: https://www.un.org/en/observances/clean-air-day . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability dilemmas - construction

One of the biggest issues in the sustainability discussion is about establishing the true impact of our activities. This in turn demands reliable data and rigorous science which are in short supply and take time to accrue. Time that many feel we do not have. This problem is obvious when you ask yourself questions like how many times should I use my “eco shopping bag” before it has achieved a net benefit compared to all the plastic bags I would have used? How can we know? The problem grows exponentially when we move to bigger ideas. Take SDGs 9 & 11 as they relate to building cities. We know that more and more people will be housed in cities in the coming decades. We know that concrete and steel are highly damaging materials. But what is the alternative? Like many sustainability answers, there are supporters of updating “old/lost” knowledge - in this case going back to wood construction. Modern tech will allow us to go up to 12 storeys quite safely and e . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Inclusive Data as a Strategic Tool for Building Back Better After Pandemic (IISD) How sustainable living can help counter the climate crisis (UNEP) It is 100 days until Cop15 – and the omens are good for a global plan to protect nature (The Guardian) How car culture colonised our thinking – and our language (The Guardian) How to finance marine conservation without harming local communities (The Conversation) Climate-resilient breadfruit could boost food security (Eco-business) China's national carbon market still plagued by serious data issues and delays (Eco-business) What is the Degrowth Movement and Why Should You Care? (green queen) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Snack anyone?

Anyone with a working knowledge of sustainability issues in the world today understands there are major problems with the food supply systems we have in place. They are structurally unequal, dependent on damaging tech, work against rather than with nature, and are looking like they could cause reductions in yields over the long term rather than the increase they were implemented for. One of the stand out arguments is that meat production is getting harder to justify on the two main grounds of it being hugely damaging to the environment and hugely inefficient in terms of the food calories per unit of resources put in. But we also know that vegan diets are problematic for overall human health. Insects are therefore a really good option for how we could maintain animal proteins in our food but produce them in a very much sustainable way. See a great overview in this article from The Guardian. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Can we go on holiday sustainably?

Tourism is one of the most fraught areas of consumption for the sustainably minded and is a classic case of how much carrot and stick is needed between regulators and suppliers as well as how much interaction between those suppliers and their customers can lead to change. Until now, just about the only memorable change we have seen long-term has been the move by most hotels to reduce their environmental footprint by removing a certain amount of their complementary single use bathroom items and encouraging less laundry. This is though a great way to start in so many businesses precisely because it makes business, not just environmental sense. Part of the problem some industries face is rowing back on the “freebies” embedded in the consumer mindset by providers in a less well -informed age. In more modern times we have had more serious discussion about transport options, with the aviation sector still a long way from sustainability. It is extremely difficult to expect or a . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Why we should abandon the concept of the ‘climate refugee’ (The Conversation) Case study of litter origin (The Conversation) UK and US banks among biggest backers of Russian ‘carbon bombs’ (The Guardian) Cholera tragedy in Indian village sheds light on power debts (Eco-business) Circular solutions struggle to make an impact in disposables-reliant Singapore (Eco-business) Germany hypes green hydrogen alliance while shopping for Canadian fossil gas (CHN) World Bank backs carbon credit blockchain registry to attract crypto investors (CHN) Here’s why we must integrate nature into urban infrastructure (RtZ) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Youth Day SDG Fair

IYD falls every 12 August so the Youth Advisory Committee of the ITS Foundation organized a fantastic fair for youth initiatives and NGOs which took place at AISHK. The event allowed a wide range of contributors and interested youth to gather together and share what they are doing towards solving issues encompassed in the SDGs. There were opportunities for learning, sharing and getting inspiration. A great day was had by all and the YAC looks forward to running more events like this in the future. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Anna Wei - 2022-23 Secretary of ITSF YAC

My name is Anna and I am a 15-year-old student at Victoria Shanghai Academy. From a young age, I have been passionate about environmental issues surrounding the SDGs such as plastic pollution and climate change. This interest has led me to collaborate with NGOs such as Plastic Free Seas to raise awareness and advocate for these prominent issues. Furthermore, I firmly believe that more youths will be able to step up and take action through education. My two projects, Apogee Academy and Sophos Montessori and Elementary School both emphasize the importance of SDG education in our modern society. Apogee Academy is an online education site in Hong Kong that focuses on teaching students about the SDGs by providing professional resources from experienced founders, educators, and advocates. While the Sophos Montessori and Elementary School project set in Ghana aims to provide underprivileged and disabled children with quality education involving SDGs and other global issues. In the future . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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