It’s Not Always Easy Being Green

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat” as it pertains to health, but have you considered the phrase as it pertains to sustainability? Your environmental impact is partly defined by the environmental impact of your eating habits. And those can carry a lot of weight, with global food production being a major source of fuel and water consumption, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions.

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Tweet tweet: Using social media to help bird conservation

Conservation areas are vital to maintaining biodiversity, and as a result, it’s important to know which conversation areas humans are most likely to visit. Looking at publicly available social media data, researchers analyzed how many people posted on Twitter and Flickr in over 12,000 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas across the globe. Understanding how many people visit what areas is important for funding, and eco-tourism, but also to see which areas may have higher threats with so many visitors.

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The Future of Seafood: Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture

Aquaculture has long been revered as a benefit to the seafood industry by increasing food availability for developing nations and taking pressure off of overexploited wild fish stocks. However, aquaculture has also been cited for its negative environmental impacts. Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is a solution that combines species of different trophic levels to be grown together in the same aquaculture setting, reducing environmental impacts and increasing overall production.

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Tiny Doctors: Cleaner Shrimp Heal Wounds and Aid in Sustainable Fish Production

Throw out the antibiotics and bring in the shrimp! In a recent study, researchers at the Center for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture found cleaner shrimp to be an effective biologic control in preventing parasitic infestations in farm-raised fish.

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Pollution to Solution: Can We Get Rid of Plastics in Our Oceans?

The issue of marine plastic pollution has become a pressing, global concern. A few organizations have been created over the past few decades that have tried to address the threat of marine pollution, but none have been solely dedicated to the issue. This has led to a lack of dedication towards the issue at the international scale, and only recently have increased measures been taken to address marine plastic pollution. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was created by world leaders in 2015, and since then a number of conferences and independent initiatives have taken place across the globe to promote ocean health. Gatherings like the United Nation’s Oceans Conference and statewide bans on plastic bags can provide the groundwork to evolve these agreements and engage governments and communities to work to reduce marine plastic pollution.

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What counts as evidence? Local vs. research knowledge in the evidence-based policymaking movement

While evidence-based decision- and policy-making have become quite the buzzwords in recent decades, what constitutes ‘evidence’ in evidence-based is less straightforward. In this paper, Persson and colleagues help unpack the term evidence in the context of sustainability studies, discuss how scientific evidence sits at the top of the evidence hierarchy, and why ignoring local knowledge can be detrimental to sound decision- and policy-making. Additionally, they suggest an alternate model for considering both local and research knowledge to obtain a more holistic understanding of the subject matter at hand, which they argue may ultimately lead to more applicable and suitable decision- and policy-making.

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Preserving Culturally-Important Xochimilco Wetlands Requires Policy and Personal Change

Created by the Aztecs in 500 CE for agriculture, Xochimilco is an area of culturally important wetlands in southern Mexico City. Despite its cultural and economic importance, this area is experiencing wetland degradation and loss due to urban development and water quality issues. Even with a high level of local concern about wetland degradation, little effort will be made toward conservation without a change in public policies regarding local infrastructure and development.

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Your resolution to eat healthy is saving the earth (more than you realize)

How much energy went into your last meal? According to a recent study, probably way more than you think. Food is responsible for 20-30% of global carbon emissions, but most people are terrible at judging the environmental cost of what they eat. Why is this? And what can we do?

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Certified coffee farmers are environmentally friendly and compensated for their efforts: Imagination or reality?

Do you go to the grocery store and look for the Fair Trade™ or Rainforest Alliance™ certified coffee? Many consumers prefer to buy certified coffee because they believe there is an economic benefit to the farmer, environmental benefits, or both. However, do these certifications actually improve farmer income and/or protect important environmental services? A recent study conducted in Uganda suggests that farms that are double or triple certified for coffee production suffer trade-offs between economic and environmental benefits.

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