Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

Seattle’s Growing Commitment to Cycling

counterSeattle’s cycling culture is getting more and more apparent, with the number of greenways, protected bike lanes, multi-use trails, signs directed at cyclists, and bike detectors at traffic signals rising. More bike counters are also being installed to monitor the city’s progress in this area. The growing network of greenways is hoped to help the city reach its goal of zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2030, all while making it easier to travel in a more environmentally and personally healthy way. Continue reading

Lolita and the Treatment of Captive Animals

zkillerLolita is the name of an Orca whale who is currently residing in a Florida Aquarium after being captured in the Puget Sound by whale hunters 44 years ago. The government is now pushing to have Lolita retroactively protected under the Endangered Species Act and returned to Washington waters, giving her the same protection that killer whales in the Puget Sound have today. Continue reading

Aimee Bender and Renewal

color masterFor those who aren’t familiar with the work of Aimee Bender, her writing includes several books of short stories and two novels, and can be generalized as a blending of the magical and surreal with the everyday. Through unique means, Bender renders characters and emotions with honesty and insight, often cutting to the heart of the human condition with a deceptively simple touch. I’ve been going through her latest book of short stories, The Color Master, and was struck by the way she used the thread of sustainability in a story called Bad Return. Continue reading

Reducing Food Waste

foodwasteSo this statistic took me by surprise: in the U.S., forty percent of our food gets thrown away. How can this be? While a lot of food is lost in the production phase, sixty percent of wasted food can be linked to the consumer. According to research conducted at the University of Arizona, households waste 14 percent of their total food purchases. Continue reading

Wilderness Area may be Expanded in the Olympic National Forest

bailey64U.S. Senator Patty Murray is taking a second shot at expanding the designated wilderness area of the Olympic National Forest, which would mean more of the forest receiving special protection from the government. While 88,002 acres of the forest that covers the Olympic Peninsula are currently under the wilderness protection, Senator Murray’s bill would enlarge this number by another 126,554 acres, making this land off-limits to any kind of development. The bill would also designate nineteen rivers, including the Elwha, with “wild and scenic” status, which would bring congressional protection over their natural, free-flowing states. Although the bill has been cut a bit from what it was the first time around, this new proposal will hopefully be tame enough to hit less roadblocks and come out passed.


Sustainable Kitchen Gear

cookingIn most cases, college students living on their own for the first time take whatever they can get when it comes to kitchenware. That probably means taking some from mom and dad, or possibly finding free stuff via craigslist. Having followed the same route myself, I am completely understanding of this phenomena. Sometimes circumstances render the ideal unattainable. But if you are looking to sustainablize your kitchen gear, look below for three areas that may be improvable. Continue reading

Sustainability & Film: Her

her-rooney-mara-600x337Writer-Director Spike Jonze’s Her is an altogether beautiful film. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should. One of the film’s themes, written with plenty of sharp insight by Jonze, is the sustainability of human relationships when the factor of individual growth and change is in play. This is reflected upon not only in main character Theodore’s (Joaquin Phoenix) past relationship with his ex-wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), but in the romance he develops with his new operating system Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), whose consciousness develops at a rate even faster than us humans. For two people to connect amidst an ocean of personal grey area is nothing short of miraculous. But how well can those entities stay connected when both of them are progressing in different ways, at different speeds? Continue reading