NYC Stepping it Up

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The Plan is to Divest from Fossil Fuels and Sue the Big Oil Companies

NYC’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced this week his administration’s intention to divest the city’s pension funds from any fossil fuel related investments. This amounts to approximately 5 billion dollars worth of assets, out of the entire $189 billion pension pool. Serious coin. Understanding that this can be potentially complicated, as the funds need to maintain certain returns and so forth, the goal is to achieve this within 5 years.

While the amount is significant, but not astronomical in the grand scheme of things, it also works to send a message that NYC is listening to the concerns of its citizens and attempting to demonstrate leadership when it comes to climate change. The city has already been feeling the effects of global warming, particularly with the beating it took from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The mayor has therefore made it clear that he does not stand with the Trump administration in their decision to pull the US from the Paris Climate Accord, but would rather stand with concerned citizens who want to protect their environment (and consequently themselves) from catastrophic climate change.

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Unravelling the Narrative

Film Recommendation

This Changes Everything (2015)

Time for a Rewrite

This documentary reexamines the paradigm of mankind’s dominance over nature, and investigates the impact of fossil fuel demands on both the environment and society.  According to the film, the 400-year-old tale of human science’s conquest of nature, and its application in the quest for limitless economic growth, is false and untenable. The planet can no longer support the status quo, and the consequences of this dated mindset are rapidly catching up. Although potentially heart-wrenching at times, the doc does seek to offer hope to viewers through the numerous activists and organizations that are taking part in the struggle for change.

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When Business Emulates Nature

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The Circular Economy

This describes a pretty amazing representation of our desire to strive for zero waste. Rather than the conventional means of manufacturing for a single purpose, with minimal thought to a product’s end of life, “the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimising negative impacts. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural and social capital.” – Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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The Bag of the Future

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The New Temp Bag

From Bali, Indonesia comes this awesome new bag that is ready to replace the excessive and antiquated plastic version currently dominating the planet. Although other plastic bag alternates have made the claim to be biodegradable, this one is totally compostable, and can even be eaten safely by wildlife (apparently they dig it)! It’s made from Cassava root (see below), an indigenous plant that’s safely consumed by humans and animals alike, and was engineered to degrade in nature within 3 to 6 months.

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We Shall Overcome

We Must Continue Working for the Future We Envision

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As we advance our vision of a more just and sustainable world, we doubtlessly encounter countless obstructions, pain, frustration, and perhaps even despair. On those occasions Sustainably Motivated turns to Martin Luther King Jr. and takes solace in his reminder that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The Importance of Knowing Where to Start

Book Recommendation

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

by Simon Sinek (2011)

swwAn astute and inspiring book that lays it all out for you in terms of identifying the purpose of your enterprise. Sinek, a gifted communicator, examines the importance of understanding “the why” behind successful individuals and organizations, and the dangers that befall those who don’t. For those that seek to attain leadership, or simply understand it better, this is a great user-friendly read filled with examples and applications. The author’s case is clearly made, well supported, and connects with the reader at a very primal level. If you happen to have seen him speak (he has a great TED Talk, and an even better 99U Talk – although this one is significantly longer, it’s totally worth it), this book serves to explore in greater detail his investigation of the impetus that can keep you and your organization sustainably motivated.

We encourage our readers to borrow books when they can, but if you choose to purchase a copy click HERE to order via Amazon, and support this blog in the process. 

Recalibrating Our Needs to Get the Most Out of Life

Film Recommendation

Minimalism (2016)

An Alternative Outlook

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, a touching documentary of life out on the road with Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, aka The Minimalists, as they promote their book and the philosophy of minimalism. I’ve had the pleasure of following their blog for some time now, as it syncs wonderfully with the idea of sustainability and the need to reduce our environmental impact, getting the most out of what we spend our precious time and money on. The idea is to focus on relationships and experiences, and less on the the material. Many in the world today equate success and satisfaction with material possessions, particularly in the United States where consumerism has become a source of patriotism. The Minimalists seek to offer Americans, and indeed the world at large, a reminder of what is truly valuable and the consideration of a possible alternative lifestyle where consumption is not the driver.

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Discoveries from the Sustainability Reporting Conference

Suits

The Toronto Sustainability Reporting Symposium

In the fall I attended a conference on sustainability reporting. It was held in Toronto’s swanky financial district (where they film Suits btw), where leaders in sustainability reporting, subject mater experts, corporate sustainability chiefs, and academics, congregated to share insights and developments with regards the current state of sustainability metrics. It was certainly enlightening, although simultaneously somewhat disconcerting.

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Cloth Diapering – My 6 Month Experience, and Counting…

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Before the baby was even born

When I found out I was pregnant, I had so many questions and mixed emotions! Incredible highs clashed with anxious lows as I contemplated what was best for baby and me, and I kept awake for many nights as I considered the future, something that is undoubtedly common with all new moms. Added to the emotional brew was my own blend of curiosity and conviction, and it does make for an exhilarating ride!

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