In the face of current and future threats facing our environment, our economy and infrastructure, our society and healthcare we often hear from loud detractors. But we must be bold, we must have faith in our abilities, and we must dream of a better future for all. We must act now to build a renewable future or be left behind.
Earth Day is an important date on the calendar that puts the spotlight back on the planet. However, as we all grow more interconnected around the world with a greater ability to have an impact -- both positive and negative -- it's equally important to recognize that the principles of Earth Day can't be ignored the other 364 days of the year.
Jason Inch likes "doing business by doing good." One of his most interesting ventures, for example, is a real estate play in Shanghai that isn't about making anybody rich. Instead, it exists to help China manage urban density while also empowering people to "work, meet, socialize, create, exercise, eat, drink and live multi-faceted lives."
Dear World Leaders, There are moments in history that become turning points. In our view, 2015 will be such a moment. We believe it's just possible that we could end 2015 with a new global compact -- an agreed pathway to a better, safer future for people and planet that will inspire all the citizens of the world. We can choose the path of sustainable development. Which side of history will you be on?
Mining is important to human well-being, but the current economic system means it's often aimed at maximizing profit with little regard for people or the environment. It's one area where Canadians can make a difference. Canadian mining companies haven't always had a great record for environmental and social responsibility in communities where they operate -- but public scrutiny and pressure may be helping to change that.
I am watching negotiators from impacted countries like the Philippines working earnestly on a new agreement to reduce global climate pollution. At the same time, I am reading stories back home about Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling the House of Commons yesterday that regulating greenhouse gas emissions from Canada's oil and gas sector would be "crazy." Let's be clear who is crazy here.
The 7 Virtues Beauty Inc. is a Canadian company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Their belief is to flex their buying power to empower families in countries that are rebuilding. Their fragrances are made in Canada and are created with essential oils from nations that are rebuilding including Haiti, Afghanistan and the Middle East.
Most people who follow these simple steps soon discover they can live on much less. They turn away from consumerism, and lead happier, more focussed lives. They stop being human doings and once again become human beings. Some even discover financial independence. Equally important, their impact on the planet is dramatically reduced. Win, win, win.
Given that one third of the planet is thinking about "guilt free consumption" any company that fails to address these three areas is missing out on a huge competitive advantage. A wise company will ask themselves how their products are adversely affecting people, nature and the planet and develop initiatives to reduce these effects.
As Canadians, we are incredibly lucky to live in a country with so much natural wealth, but we're taking that for granted. We're placing huge demands on the planets' resources, ranked 11th per capita in the world. If everybody in the world lived like Canadians, we would require 3.7 planets to meet our needs -- clearly, this is not sustainable.
Technology is allowing us to peer behind the veil of TV commercials; it is connecting us in real, authentic and meaningful ways to the food we eat. It is creating communities of like-minded consumers and producers. This week, the FDA issued an industry-wide mandate to lower sodium in processed foods. Has the ratchet changed direction?
Among the incentives to host a major international sporting event is the promise of an enduring legacy of infrastructure for future generations of athletes and citizens to enjoy. It seems that the global athletic events of the future will leave something other than crumbling ruins behind, as short-term sporting venues are built with social development in mind. We can only hope so much for Toronto's 2015 Pan Am Games. With a total budget of $1.44 billion, the creative opportunities for a sustainable legacy, like the athletes themselves, know no limits.
Cooperation between Arctic stakeholders is crucial for each country's success in dealing with climate change. We are in a new era of sustainable development as the Arctic presents us with major opportunities and major responsibilities. Cooperation is the only tool to ensure ethical, social, and ecological sustainable development.
Stephen Harper recently announced that dealing with climate change will not come at the expense of crippling the economy, and said that he encourages other countries to do the same. He claimed he was just being honest and that no leader really wants to take action on climate change, but based on recent actions by China, United Kingdom and the United States, this doesn't seem to be the truth.
World Oceans Day, celebrated across the globe on June 8, is Canada's brainchild. The Canadian government proposed the concept in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. This makes Monday's news of Canada's significant ocean protection shortcomings, courtesy of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society's report, all the more hard to swallow.