Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The balancing act of sustainable waste management

The need for the sustainable management of waste is becoming more important with the opportunity to conserve materials, landfills competing for valuable land, and the health, environmental and aesthetic impacts of ineffective disposal methods. Waste managers are increasingly challenged to create and maintain sustainable systems that are financially and economically affordable, acceptable by society, environmentally effective and practically implementable.

For a short review on the costs and benefits of waste management options and many other very valuable contributions to sustainable waste management, see this newly released Waste Revolution Handbook.

Image: earth911.com

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Nelson Mandela's struggle for a garden on Robben Island" or "Why it makes sense to invest in ecosystem services"

It was not for nothing that Nelson Mandela fought for permission to grow a garden on Robben Island.

In his words: “To plant a seed, watch it grow, to tend it and then harvest it, offered a simple but enduring satisfaction. The sense of being the custodian of this small patch of earth offered a small taste of freedom.”

The simple act of gardening helped Nelson Mandela sustain his longer–term perspective, re-emphasised a sense of responsibility beyond himself and provided a link to freedom. Powerful stuff!

Nelson Mandela’s garden story is beautiful and gripping, but certainly not unique. The link between healthy nature and human wellbeing is well-documented.

It makes sense to invest in ecosystems services.

For the full text of remarks at a recent gathering of the Cambridge Resilience Forum read here.

Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation