Sunday, August 10, 2014

Nature deficit disorder anyone?

Went to see a community screening of the documentary “Play again.”  First time I heard the concept of “nature deficit disorder,” that is, that “human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.” If you don’t believe it, just watch the documentary.

Here’s the official trailer. If you’re a parent or have children in your life, you should watch it! (and do something about it)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Finally! Vancouver will ban all food from trash

Small composters for apartments fit in a balcony
This is a policy that should be implemented everywhere. Organic products don’t belong in the  trash and should be composted.

The city of Vancouver has been moving in that direction for a few years now, promoting the use of composting bins in houses and subsidizing small composters to be used in apartments. The objective was to get people used to separating organic matter from.

Subsidized by the City of Vancouver





Once you get used to composting, it just feels wrong to throw fruit and vegetables in the garbage bin.

The neighbouring city of New Westminster had already implemented a similar series of initiatives successfully.

Here you can read more about the plan for Vancouver

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Very smart Thai guy

In very simple words, a farmer from northern Thailand shows how senseless the rat race and over consumption. After giving a try to life in the city, advanced studies and purchased clothes, he listened to his inner voice telling him: “That’s stupid!” He went back to work the land and provide for himself and others. Just brilliant!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Organic gardening: dealing with pests III

Infested leaves



There are few things as frustrating as seeing your beautiful plants eaten by bugs. After all the effort you put into composting and preparing the soil and taking care of the seeds and the little plant! As soon as the plant is looking good: bugs!!!

Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert to try to get rid of them. Worms, I pick them out of the plants one by one (the moment of zen, an opportunity for meditation practice). The beetle-like bugs that were eating my bellpepper plants, though, were more difficult to grab, so, it was time for some brewing.

Concoction time!

I’ve tried some different things, but the general rules is that they don’t like anything strong-scented. So, garlic, coffee, rosemary it is. In this particular case, I added a little bit of hand soap for good measure.

 
The solution: garlic-rosemary + soapy water
Took a few days of spraying and scattering used coffee grounds, but it worked!



Friday, July 4, 2014

Bike ride around Richmond

When I discovered Let's Go Biking! I was thrilled to find tons of information on where to bike in and around Vancouver, for pleasure, and away from cars.

Had to give it a try and the first ride was around Richmond, for one simple reason: it is flat!


Saw turtles and a fox, herons, eagles and fish, mountains and sea planes, historical sites and one of the new Olympic buildings, farms and hidden hippie communites.


It’s about 95% away from cars, and in some places you really feel you’re on holidays far away from the city. Just brilliant!



Friday, June 20, 2014

Planta de Clasificación de Envases en Montevideo


Iniciativa de la Intendencia de Montevideo para la formalización de la gestión de residuos sólidos:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How to build consumers out of citizens


The Century Of Self: Happiness Machines (Episode1)

The Century of the Self is documentary series focused on how the work of Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays influenced the way corporations and governments have analyzed,‭ dealt with, and controlled ‬people. It asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism and representative democracy. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitudes to fashion and superficiality. (quoted from website)

Some points considered:

* Warning of the government against corporations misusing media and public relations’ people as a threat to democracy (~50:00)

* Ann Bernays (Edward’s daughter) saying: “To my father, the world’s fair (Futurama) was a way to keep the status quo, that is capitalism in a democracy, that marriage, that link. He did that by manipulating people and getting them to think that you couldn’t have real democracy in anything but a capitalist society [...] you would infer that democracy and capitalism went together.” (~51:00)

* Citizens as passive consumers controlled by manufactured desires (~53:00)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ciclovida: organización que promueve el uso de la bicicleta

Ciclovida surge con el firme propósito de ayudar a los demás. Promover y apoyar políticas de movilidad urbana.

Porque la bicicleta es el transporte que contribuye a lograr una ciudad limpia, a reducir la contaminación, a descomprimir el tránsito vehicular.

Promovemos algo mas que andar en bicicleta, investigamos, asesoramos, diseñamos e implementamos acciones para lograr cambios culturales que integren la bicicleta como un medio de transporte más.

Nuestra aspiración armar es mecanismos y proyectos desde el poder civil que permitan desarrollar políticas publicas enfocadas en la transformación de comportamientos en la cultura ciudadana.

Ciclovida es un espacio de reflexión e intercambio sobre como movernos mejor, ser punto de encuentro para aquellos que utilizan sus bicicletas para trasladarse todos los días a centros de estudio o trabajo en la ciudad, o usen las bicis para recreación o deporte.

En Ciclovida queremos que la gente recupere la sensación de libertad, que establezca una relación directa y vívida con el paisaje cotidiano…es decir, reconquistar la “escala humana” de la ciudad.



(Material de Gustavo Izús, por Ciclovida)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Overpopulated: hear the good news from a specialist

Always a positive outlook from Swedish statistician (and should-be-comedian) Hans Rosling: we’re a lot, but it’s not that bad.



A documentary from the BBC - worth watching.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

Organic gardening: dealing with pests II


Last year it was veggies vs. rabbits. This year grapes vs. birds. After several years of the vine only giving a bunch or two of grapes (which we didn’t even bothered to pick and graciously offered to the birds from the neighborhood), this year the plant exploded. So much so, that we didn’t anticipate we would need to make space for the grape bunches. We ended up with too much fruit on the cane roof: buffet served on a plate to the birds.

Dangerous pursuits: ladders, scissors & nets

My feeble attempt at discouraging the birds from gorging on the plump grapes consisted in opening some canes so that the fruit would drop below the roof, and covering parts of the remaining fruit (most of it) with some left-over pieces of net from the fight-the-rabbit days.

A few weeks later, I’m happy to report, we’ve gathered a couple of bucket-fulls of juicy grapes. 100% organic!

Disclosure: no bird was damaged in the process of growing or harvesting the vines.




Thursday, January 30, 2014

What's up with the bees? / ¿Qué pasa con las abejas?

For those who think all is lost when it comes to our environment, there’s good news: I keep on running into people concerned with the environment, people who are doing their share to change things, informint others, raising awareness, moving things in a better direction.

Recently, I met Jocelyn Demers, producer of a couple of films that tackle issues related to sustaintability. One of the documentaries is about bees: Saving the Life Keepers. You can check the trailer here:


If you have no idea why I’m talking about bees, here’s a 4-minute summary about the issue:


Y en español (de España) otro video reciente, de media hora que explica el tema de la muerte de las abejas (síndrome de despoblamiento de las colmenas) y lo que eso representa para nosotros:


¡A informarse y tomar las decisiones correctas!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Back to bikes

I know I’m being a bit repetitive here, but I’m just obsessed with Amsterdam. I love the cities I’ve been living, but I wouldn’t mind spending some time in a place with so much water and bikes. Here’s another peek at how does living in a city with bikes looks like. Enjoy!


Monday, September 2, 2013

If every adult had it that clear...

I’m thinking if there’s one good thing this generation did is having kids like these ones.

If you wanted to have a clear picture about what’s going on in terms of politics and society in Egypt, ask 12-year-old Ali Ahmed. I would vote this kid for president:



About the right of children (specially girls) to education? Find out about what 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai has to say. Here is her story: 


 
And what about our food, GMOs, non-patented seeds? Listen to what 11-year-old Birke Baher has to say:



I can’t wait for this kids to take over the world.
Feeling hopeful...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are we finally becoming human?

These recent headlines... does it mean we’re finally evolving?


* Costa Rica will close its zoos and free animals (Costa Rica cerrará sus zoos y liberará a los animales)


* India declares dolphins non-human persons, bans holding them in captivity
* European Union reaffirms ban on animal testing for cosmetics

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Agricultura urbana: esta vez en Perú

En este artículo y video se muestra como una comunidad en Perú transformó la basura en un oasis de agricultura urbana.

En este video más extenso, entrevistan a participantes de la iniciativa "La Lombriz Feliz" y cómo han llegado a ganar el Premio Nacional de Ciudadanía Ambiental el año pasado.





Friday, July 26, 2013

Agricultura urbana: el ejemplo de España

Otro ejemplo, esta vez, en España. Lo lindo de este video es que también muestra las propiedades terapéuticas y los beneficios sociales de la agricultura practicada de esta forma.



Puedes ver otros ejemplos en Cuba y Canadá.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A better world #20: quit the serious face and laugh

Brian, 40+, carpenter, UK


Only take 
the serious things in life 
seriously, 

laugh at the rest.











To find out more about the work Brian does take seriously, check his lovely wood work and photography.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A better world #19: destress and relax

Julia, 40, coach, Germany
My approach to making the world a better place is to help busy professionals to de-stress with Mini-Retreats. Mini-Retreats are moments of relaxation you can enjoy while waiting at a red traffic light or while washing your hands. They don’t take any extra time and make a world of a difference. Mini-Retreats positively impact how your day unfolds, what you accomplish, how you make decisions and how you treat people around you. When people tell me “I think of you when I relax at a red traffic light,” I take that as a sign that my legacy is already on its way. My vision is a world where we all make self-care a priority. This creates a solid foundation for taking good care of our planet and all fellow-beings.

For more information visit: www.juliajames.ca



Mein Weltverbesserungsbeitrag besteht darin vielbeschaeftigten, berufstaetigen Menschen zu helfen, Stress abzubauen mit Hilfe von “Mini-Retreats.” “Mini-Retreats” sind Augenblicke der Entspannung, die Sie sich goennen koennen waehrend sie z.B. an einer roten Ampel warten oder Ihre Haende waschen. Fuer “Mini-Retreats” benoetigen sie keine extra Zeit. “Mini-Retreats” haben einen positiven Einfluss darauf, wie Ihr Tag verlaeuft, was Sie erreichen, wie Sie Entscheidungen treffen und wie Sie Ihre Mitmenschen behandeln. Wenn mir jemand sagt “Ich denke an Dich, wenn ich an einer roten Ampel entspanne,” dann sehe ich das als Zeichen dafuer, dass mein Vermaechtnis schon auf dem Weg ist. Meine Zukunftsvision ist eine Welt in der wir alle Selbstfuersorge als Prioritaet erkennen. Dies bildet die Basis dafuer uns gut um unseren Planeten und unsere Mitwesen zu kuemmern.
Fuer weitere Information besuchen Sie bitte: www.juliajames.ca

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Agricultura urbana: el ejemplo de Cuba

Documental en tres partes del desarrollo de la agricultura urbana en Cuba como respuesta a la necesidad de alimentar a su población.

Parte 1


Parte 2


Parte 3  

 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Se puede

Me gustó lo que Jorge Martínez dice sobre que “se puede”. Mucho para aprender por parte de todos.


El video es de 2010, me gustaría saber en qué quedó el proyecto. Si alguien sabe, cuente.