Fostering Sustainability through Community Currency – Group 7

     Community Currency sets out on the goal of making the world more sustainable through the monetary and economic system. Community currency is shows to be a grassroot innovation shows to be efficient in nature because it boosts sustainable development because it recognizes that natural resources are being depleted on an increasingly large scale by the economic system, while also fostering the well- being of society and stabilizing local run markets. By doing so, community currency seeks the engagement of local populations by utilizing a system that brings economic stability in which reinvents the way money flows in that community. The functionality of community currency detracts from the conventional monetary system in that physical money is not always readily available and puts individuals in debt due.

    The basic vision of sustainable development indicates that the decision we make should bear in mind the interconnection of the economic, social and environmental spheres. With the aim to realize these objectives, new economics organizations and academics attempt to create new institutions or parallel infrastructures that comprise more sustainable systems of production and consumption.

    The utilization of a community currency system exists in many forms and all over the world. Community currency can come in various forms such as service credits, mutual exchange, local currencies, and even a barter market. This video shows a visual conceptualization of the flow of a community currency and one of the many ways in fostering sustainable development through economic groundwork.  

 

funny-instagram-accounts-08-cashcats.jpg

 

Group 7 –

Mayra Rodriguez (Mayrod23)

Sean Hardin (shoryukenpizza)

Keaton Fisher (keatonfisher)

 

References

“Bristol Pound – Our City. Our Money..” Bristolpound.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Apr. 2018.

Douthwaite, R. J. Short Circuit: Strengthening Local Economies For Security In An Unstable World. Dublin, Ireland: Lilliput Press, 1996. Print.

Drew, Katherine Fischer, and Edward Peters. The Lombard Laws. Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1973. Print.

Fisher, Walter K. “The Oldest Place Of Worship In The World.” The Scientific Monthly 2.6 (1916): 521-535. Web. 30 Mar. 2018.

Lietaer, Bernard A. The Future Of Money: Creating New Wealth, Work And A Wiser World. London: Century, 2001. Print.

Mellor, Mary. The Future Of Money. London: Pluto Press, 2010. Print.

Schaps, David M. The Invention Of Coinage And The Monetization Of Ancient Greece. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan, 2004. Print.

“The Wörgl Experiment: Austria (1932-1933) | Currency Solutions For A Wiser World.” Lietaer.com. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Apr. 2018.

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Project #20 Solar Roads at a Glance

An overhaul of American infrastructure is nigh. I think that the issue of our failing infrastructure has risen high enough on the political agenda that the rebuilding of our roads is, at this point, far more than eminent. Thus, now is the time to become politically active in pushing for the implementation of solar roads in our upcoming infrastructure. There are many stakeholders aligned against the building of solar infrastructure, so we cannot take it for granted that solar roads will feature prominently in upcoming plans. Therefore, we must take an active role in bringing our infrastructure into modernity. I hope that in my video, I can equip people with at least some of the informational tools they will need to begin taking action.

This video assignment is to serve as a gateway information piece for anyone interested in solar roads and the future of American infrastructure. It will discuss and detail some of the benefits and conflicting demands that I have uncovered during my research. I will touch on the efficiency of solar technology, the potential costs of implementing solar roads, and give my thoughts on the pacing of infrastructure policy in the United States.

References

[1] Brown, L. (2001). Paving the planet: Cars and crops competing for land. Retrieved from http://www.earth-policy.org/plan_b_updates/2001/alert12

[2] Electric avenues find favour with DoT. (2009). TCE: The Chemical Engineer, (820), 6-6. Retrieved from http://proxy.cc.uic.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=48729099

[3] IEA (2017), Key World Energy Statistics 2017, IEA, Paris, Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org.proxy.cc.uic.edu/10.1787/key_energ_stat-2017-en.

[4] Kim, S., Lee, Y., & Moon, H. (2018). Siting criteria and feasibility analysis for PV power generation projects using road facilities https://doi-org.proxy.cc.uic.edu/10.1016/j.rser.2017.08.067

[5] Schniper, M. (2014, Aug 6-Aug 12, 2014). Drivin’ on sunshine. Colorado Springs Independent Retrieved from http://proxy.cc.uic.edu/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.proxy.cc.uic.edu/docview/1554326072?accountid=14552

[6] Selvaraju, R. K. (2012). Characterization of solar roadways via computational and experimental investigations (master’s thesis). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository: Retrieved from https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/906/?utm_source=ir.lib.uwo.ca%2Fetd%2F906&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages

[7] Trentacoste, M. (2017). New pavement system…supported by solar panels?. Retrieved from https://www.volpe.dot.gov/news/new-pavement-system-supported-by-solar-panels

[8] United States, U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. (2015, June). Highway Statistics, HM-20. Retrieved from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics.cfm

Group #9 Sustainable Agriculture in the United States

uzhunu2, nhende4, Mya Barth

Sustainable agriculture in the United States

The process of harvesting, distributing, and  pricing, are all important in relation to the overall sustainability of the industry along with other forces such as climate change, poverty,employment, etc. In terms of creating a more sustainable space here in the United States, there are many options and solutions. Sustainable food production in the United states is possible, but it is going to take great efforts.

One way to work towards this goal would be to invest in sustainable farming. In order to see the widespread adoption of a sustainable food system it will take much investing to get the process started in a large way. Sustainable agriculture utilizes methods to promote healthy soil, reduction in water use, and the reduction in pollution levels on farms and if implemented on a larger scale, this would be beneficial for the  future of agriculture. Furthermore, implementing, and enforcing policy change that centers on ensuring that production and distributing companies are abiding by rules and regulations that promote healthy and safe methods. Too often these companies get away with harming the environment with toxic waste and this is an injustice to humanity. GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling should also be required here in the United states so that people know what it is that they are putting in their bodies. Following this there needs to be more support of organic gardening and farming here in the United states as well.

Sources:

“U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit.” Food Production | U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, toolkit.climate.gov/topics/food/food-production.

“Market Segments.” USDA ERS – Market Segments, www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-markets-prices/food-service-industry/market-segments/.

“CPI Home.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/cpi/.

“40 Maps That Explain Food in America.” Vox.com, www.vox.com/a/explain-food-america.

“What Is Sustainable Agriculture?” What Is Sustainable Agriculture? – UC SAREP, asi.ucdavis.edu/programs/sarep/about/what-is-sustainable-agriculture.

https://imgur.com/gallery/zvwQNYn

 

cat harvesting

Group 27- The Fastest Way to a Green Commute

High-speed rail has shown major success throughout Asia and Europe, so why is America struggling to adopt this efficient AND sustainable method of transit?

The future of mass transit in America lies within the expansion of the HSP (high-speed rail) network.  Not only are these trains capable of traveling upwards of 300+ MPH, but they are also the most sustainable method for moving people across local and broad areas. Being powered by mostly electricity, they operate far cleaner and can run off of renewable resources! Current trains operate on diesel, which is cleaner than coal but still negatively impacts the environment.  Greenhouse emissions from cars also play a major role in the pollution that cities suffer from and as our dependence on the automobile becomes stronger, there is a greater impact on the environment.

Rail infrastructure in America is outdated and under equipped to handle the traffic.  Current high-speed train travel in America (Amtrak Acela) is limited to the Northeast Corridor, and as the only option, tickets are overpriced. Some states, such as California and Illinois, have begun their own high-speed network in order to connect local cities and relieve traffic congestion.  While government keeps funding more automobile and aviation-based projects, the investment has to be made in order for the U.S. to not fall behind completely.

Group #16 How You Can Mitigate GHG Emissions from the Livestock Industry With Your Diet

Exploring sustainability in agriculture and our diets; livestock production contributes a significant amount of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) each year, and this video will explain how you, as a consumer, can make an effort to promote sustainability and mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions on a daily basis. The Livestock Industry, and particularly the Beef Industry, produces methane on a large scale. But they are an industry operating in a market, and markets respond to decreased consumer demand with decreased production. If we vote with our dollar and consume less beef, beef production will decrease, and, methane production will follow.

Links to sources: (not exhaustive – I’ve finished the script, but I’ve yet to finish the visual presentation)

  1. USDA US Red Meat and Poultry forecasts (follow link to download .xls with data)
    https://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/pub-details/?pubid=86242
  2. Government Suggested Dietary Guidelines https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-1/a-closer-look-inside-healthy-eating-patterns/#food-groups
  3. Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Energy Use Associated With Production Of Individual Self-selected Us Diets
    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aab0ac/meta

The Div-ference

By: Desaray Crosby (desaray215) and Kendrick Stevens (ste502843)

     The first steerable bike was made by Charles, Baron von Drais, in 1817 and originated in Paris, France. From France, it spread like wildfire throughout Europe and eventually spread to the United States in 1819. However, the bigger you are, the harder you fall. This proved to be the case for the bikes, or what were called “velocipedes” at the time, when their popularity declined terribly with the approaching 1920s. However, it increased in popularity once again in the 1860s. Now, in the 21st century, we have a variety of bicycles: some equipped with 10-speed technology for racing and some equipped with baskets for recreation.

     In the summer of 2013, the Divvy bikes were introduced to the citizens of Chicago. The new bike-sharing system boomed, it was affordable, convenient and sustainable. Other methods of public transportation in city such as, the CTA bus line and/or the “El” rail system are not only costly, time ineffective, crowded but, a very heavy pollutant. In addition, divvy bikes are found to be safer, with no recorded deaths in the U.S. since the first bicycle sharing program was instilled in Tulsa, OK. A drawback, however, is getting the Divvy station and more Divvy activities in lower-income areas. Predominantly minority and low to medium income communities aren’t using Divvy bikes as much as their white and higher income community counterparts.

Overall, Divvy bikes are a very sustainable way of traveling across the city. However, there are disparities in accessibility due to income. Being such a safe and efficient way to travel and city resource, it is very important that more of the city uses it so it can afford to expand to the communities it would most benefit.

References

FIFRA

Insecticide- (n.) a substance used for killing insects

Fungicide- (n.) a chemical that destroys fungus

Rodenticide- (n.) a poison used to kill rodents

People get annoyed in the summer when there are bugs always trying to bite us and take our blood. We get all itchy and bathe ourselves in bug spray. Not only do we get annoyed when bugs come to us, but we also get annoyed when they decide to make holes into the fruits and vegetables we plant during the spring and summer. There’s nothing MY dad hates more than choosing a beautiful tomato, turning it around, and realizing that some insect has already had breakfast, lunch, and dinner in that one tomato. If my dad gets annoyed with one tomato, how do farmers feel when their job requires these tomatoes, or whatever crop they have, have become infested with insects? There immediate go-to product is probably a pesticide. If there are insects? insecticide. Fungus? fungicide. Rodent? Rodenticide. Farmers end up spraying their crops with whatever they need to get rid of pests. But, how does that affect us in the long run? There is a chance that WE eat some of that pesticide. “Pesticides are used to control various pests and disease carriers, such as mosquitoes, ticks, rats and mice. Pesticides are used in agriculture to control weeds, insect infestation and diseases.” (Why We Use Pesticides n.d) We’re all probably okay with that, but, have we thought of the consequences it could have? Some pesticides could actually penetrate the skin of fruits to protect the fruit on the inside. We probably have eaten some kind of pesticide. “Pesticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants.” (Aktar, Sengupta and Chowdhury 2009)

illud-pérou-anglais-1-2

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjVx5720bXXAhUEwYMKHYNXCCUQjRwIBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.semaine-sans-pesticides.fr%2Fdecouvrir-levenement%2Fpesticide-action-week%2F&psig=AOvVaw0x6lCEt50T1q8pfOxY0HnU&ust=1510459405194001

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) established in 1996 was made to protect human health and the environment. in 1910, the U.S. began to regulate pesticides, and over the years, it was been revised to better help the people and the earth. According to the EPA, “the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) provides for federal regulation of pesticide distribution, sale, and use. All pesticides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered (licensed) by EPA. Before EPA may register a pesticide under FIFRA, the applicant must show, among other things, that using the pesticide according to specifications ‘will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.'” (EPA n.d.) Pesticides are capable of hurting consumers and hurting our soil, FIFRA is controlling which pesticides are good enough to use to protect us.

Works Cited

Aktar, Wasim, Dwaipayan Sengupta, and Ashim Chowdhury. 2009. Impact of pesticides use in agriculture: their benefits and hazards. Mach. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2984095/.

n.d. EPA. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-federal-insecticide-fungicide-and-rodenticide-act.

n.d. Why We Use Pesticides. Accessed November 10, 2017. https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/why-we-use-pesticides.

 

Using the Past to Move Forward (Japan’s Basic Environment Law)

louis-kang-96951

One of Japan’s many environmental policies/regulations include the Basic Environment Law & Plan. The Basic Environment Plan was initially put into place in December 1994 using the Law as a guideline. Before the Basic Environment Law, however, most policies involving environment were based on the Nature Conservation Law & the Basic Law for Environmental Pollution Control. In order to sustain these two laws and their efforts to preserve the environment & crack down on pollution caused by manufacturing, the laws had to be revised to react to the rapid urbanization of Japan (which brought into conception the Basic Environment Law). The law aims to build society in Japan in a way that is environmentally and economically stable while simultaneously contributing to global conservational efforts. It also addresses a number of issues including: the responsibility of the state, local governments, corporations, and citizens, prevention of air, water, and radioactive pollution, and more. Not only do Japan’s policies target large corporations to cut down on mass waste and consumption, the individual also plays a large role in its policy. Some of the more specific parts of the law require the address of the prime minister, especially those with concerning highly polluted areas of Japan. Over time, Japan has adapted the law to such areas after large incidents of mercury & cadmium poisoning and related deaths. Overall, however, the laws have proven to be quite effective in some areas and has shown to curb pollution in Japan whilst still allowing for growth of the nation. Today, Japan is also noted for being one of the least polluted countries worldwide, while still being one of the most advanced. Much of this can be attributed to the many fines that are enforced through the Basic Environment Law and many of the policies that fall under it.

Sources:

https://www.env.go.jp/en/laws/policy/basic_lp.html

http://www.env.go.jp/en/laws/policy/basic/ch1.html

National Forest Management Act of 1974

The National Forest Management Act of 1976 is an amendment of The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. This act was designed to counter act the damage done to the natural ecosystem by the public. The act put into place a system for forest management after several debates regarding the legality of clear-cutting the forests. Congress instructed the US Forest Service to develop regulations that limit the size of clear cuts to the forest, protect streams from logging, restrict the annual rate of cutting, and ensure reforestation.

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The image above is a picture of a recent clear cut in the lands of Western Oregon taken by photographer Kevin Mathews

The National Forest Management Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to assess forest lands, develop a management program based on multiple-use, sustained-yield principles, and implement a resource management plan for each unit of The National Forest System. In recent years, the national forest commodity production and uses have been substantially reduced and emphasis on non-commodity uses and values, especially biological diversity, has expanded exponentially. Also, due to continuing biomass buildups on NFS lands and the poor condition of many forested watersheds, forest health and wildlife issues are likely to be the focus of continued future public debate. SO while this act originally helped with the regulations regarding clear cuts and so on, the National Forest Services have strayed away from their original goal and will most likely need to increase their collaborative approaches to solving resource problems.

 

Sources:

http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal14/nfma.htm

http://www.architectureweek.com/2012/1024/environment_1-s.html

http://www.ti.org/2chistory.html

Blog 4: Policy & Regulations for Urban Sustainability

With the current issue of hazardous waste not being not being a major concern for many, it is leading to a very dangerous  outcome for human health and the environment. Those who contribute to toxic waste also lack the enforcement in cleaning and making those who are liable accountable for their actions. The purpose of hazardous waste control is to safeguard human health and minimizing the impact that hazardous water has on the environment should always be our agenda. In this case, there are organizations who are innovating, creating, motivating and inspiring ways to prevent and become efficient in waste disposal. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes laws to safeguard nature, human health surrounding hazardous waste lies on how it’s stored and handled by corporations. I believe that with the involvement of  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  they oversee all regulations on hazardous waste and leaves local officials to implement the proper handling techniques. However, there have been cases in which hazardous materials were mishandled, leading to the contamination of the surrounding environment. Hydraulic fracturing and its by products are one example in which the handling of hazardous materials must improve and be tightly enforced by local governments. 

Sources: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/toxic-waste/

https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/documents/0407023.pdf