Throughout history many empires have fallen due to depletion of resources and strategies how to address the issue. Starting from Mesopotamian civilization and finishing with recent Soviet Union the question remains, how to address the issue of economic growth and its dependence on environmental resources (particularly oil).
Continuing to strive for information I researched web for informative and insightful sustainable living blogs, books and other sources. I will update this info as I move along and research further on this topic.
The best way to cure my ignorance is by noticing, reading and becoming aware about personal actions and decisions. I try to see the large picture first and then go down into details, thus this post is build accordingly.
Official information from governments and organizations
There are many organizations that promote sustainability and environmental awareness. Here are some major ones, their policies, visions and goals. Reading them through it can be felt that there is a formidable force behind these organisations and decision makers.
UN sustainable development goals. In 2015 the UN adopted 17 sustainable development goals to achieve each of them by 2030. The goals cover full specter of global challenges from poverty to climate change.
Sustainable development goals report 2018. Report is on its second year and is developed by United Nations and Bertelsmann Stiffung (German company). SDG index and dashboard report has more details and reports on sustainable development goals. Data lovers will like it.
European vision for sustainability. European success and sustainability could well become the rejuvenated brand of Europe: “living well and sharing fairly within the limits of our blue planet”. This document describes EU vision and challenges on becoming sustainable society. Must read for all Europeans zero wasters.
China’s National plan for implementation of sustainable goals. China despite its challenges is among front runners in sustainable development initiatives, especially when it comes to technological development. Some of the circular economy opportunities in China are described in Ellen MacArtur foundation report. China being as front runner is interesting and needs to be studied more thoroughly. Will spend some additional article on this in future.
Ellen MacArtur foundation educational page on the topic. One of the most comprehensive and insightful information and video libraries available for circular economy. You can spend literally hours and hours soaking up well-prepared information you are interested in.
If you are interested which country is the greenest on the earth, this information can be found in environmental performance index site. Comprehensive statistics are assembled for almost each country on earth, different angles are available to compare and educate yourself. I was surprised about some countries though.
Blogs – personal look into the subject
Here are my top 5 blogs i have found. There are many more on the web, but these are my personal favorites, each blog is different and covers different field.
Bea’s Johnson, the acclaimed author of zero waste bible “Zero Waste Home” is leading the way with zerowastehome.com. If you want to start out or you are seasoned vet in living green, you can find new ideas and inspiration from this blog. Must follow for true believers in the concept. Bea has many youtube videos as well.
Cathryn with Going Zero Waste has a great practical blog full of tips and information, especially for
beginners. Most girls will love this blog, but I must admit it is very informational for men as well. Definitely one of the blogs I will keep an eye on for further personal development. Blog has great content acquired through the years of publishing.
Zero Waste Europe network is an organization that participates in many projects around Europe and has informative blog in which they discuss both individual approach to zero waste (for families) and approach for cities and municipalities. The network they are building across Europe is increasing every year. If you are in Europe, this might be interesting for you.
Sustainable smart business is a blog with business perspective. It touches on topics how to introduce concept of sustainability into businesses. Blog has some agricultural flavor to it as it covers topics on issues of growing particular plants.
Zero waste guy is a blog that has not only content about the topic but also Eco friendly product reviews.
Books – more in depth and comprehensive
Books from knowledgeable source that have stood the test of time are my favorites. I picket those that are well-received by public, which means they are not only good in content but are easy to comprehend, thus i add them to my reading list.
Zero waste home by Bea Johnson. Inspirational story of personal transformation and practical steps for better living will be the first choice.
Cradle to Cradle by Michael Braungart and William McDonough. Radically different approach to manufacturing and environmentalism. Doing more with less. Peeps with Economical background will love this book.
This Changes everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, by Naomi Klein. One of the most influential books on climate change that goes deeper than describing consequences but also proposes solutions on restructuring the economy. Author has also written such books as The Shock Doctrine and No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.
The Upcycle – Beyond Sustainability – Designing for Abundance, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. Follow up to Cradle to Cradle with Bill Clinton’s foreword for the book. The concepts described in the book are laid into practice for businesses governments and ordinary people.
Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered, by E.F. Schumacher. The classics of sustainability. Named as one of the Times literary supplements 100 most influential books since the WWII. Building the needs around society not around corporation.
In case, you have these book already in your collection, please find additionally a list of top 50 books on Sustainability by Cambridge University.
Social media – keep up with the latest news
Ceres on twitter – US based nonprofit organization that brings together investors and companies to drive change on sustainable development. They advance leading practices in clean energy and sustainable food and water by streamlining investment flow. Closely work with fortune 500 companies and other influential organizations. One of the most influential organizations on sustainable development.
Conservation International on Instagram – For more than 30 years are protecting nature worldwide for present and future generations. Involving politicians, scientists, businesses and local people organization has significant impact on transforming and saving forests, ocean life, thus influencing global stability.
Greenpeace on Instagram – Probably most acclaimed and well known organization that uses peaceful and creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems. Follow up and witness the latest actions worldwide of Greenpeace to protect environment. Some of their actions are real courageous and incredible stunt acts.
Ocean conservancy on Instagram – Organization that works with millions of volunteers around the world to protect oceans from today s global challenges. Oceans are unprotected and used as plastic waste dumps killing millions of birds, fish and animals annually. Organizations like Ocean conservancy are working on multiple programs worldwide to protect Oceans.
World Wildelife Fund on Instagram – One of the worlds leading conservation organizations that works in more than 100 countries and has more than one million members in US alone. Nicely depicts global and local environmental issues by backing them up with scientific evidence. Very nice pictures.
Find your heroes – they are everywhere
There are so much information on the topic of sustainable development and zero waste practices. You can find your heroes everywhere. Going through information provided in this article i feel more confident on this sustainable path, that i have chosen. Base for further research is ready.
Government policies are indicating that world is transforming and changes are being made (or at least prepared). Informative books give essential and easy to understand guides on why current consumption trend is not sustainable. One fact staggered me is if we are to continue spend and consume as we are today, then by year 2050 humanity will need 2,5 times world resources and that is clearly unattainable.
Blogs and social media gives you day to day guides on how to make first steps into sustainable lifestyle. If you have your own preferred sites, blogs or info guides you would like to share, please add them to comments and I will be more than happy to look them up and read.