sustainablespu

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


Sustainable Discovery


Captura-de-pantalla-2014-01-03-a-las-12.05.09-PMDid you know that an estimated 18,000 new species of animals, plants, and insects are discovered every year? This mind-boggling statistic thrilled and uplifted me; who says there’s nothing left to discover? The International Institute for Species Exploration recently released a list of its top ten newly discovered species from the past year, which includes a new member of the raccoon family as well as a new kind of gecko. While new doesn’t always mean better, it’s a nice idea to carry forward, especially for us soon-to-be graduates; we, as a species, are never done learning.


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Green Careers


Solar_PowerWelp, graduation is approaching fast for us SPU seniors, and the desperate search for a new job is well underway for many. Whether or not you’ll be stepping away from SPU this June, the field of sustainability is a constantly growing one, and green career options are expanding past the ones you may already know about. If you’re at all interested in going into sustainability after school, or if you’re in the thick of it and trying to look ahead, check out the following list of possible future jobs in under-sought areas within the sustainable framework. Continue reading


The Benefits of Soybeans


basket-of-soybeansYou may have noticed Soybeans or Edamame being served as an appetizer when you eat out, or perhaps you’ve discovered them through your own curiosity. Either way, these fuzzy-shelled guys are deceptively delicious. While they may look like just another vegetable (even though they’re technically a legume), soybeans are super yummy, especially with the addition of some salt on the pod. Fortunately said yumminess does not, in this case, mean that soybeans aren’t as healthy as they look. The fact is that soybeans have many health benefits, and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them at all. Quite the contrary. See below for some reasons soybeans are both tasty and healthy: Continue reading


Steelhead Breakout!


fronttest3No matter how you feel about fish hatcheries, this story of 25,000 steelhead being broken out of a hatchery east of Seattle is pretty interesting. The police are currently looking for whoever broke into the hatchery and released the fish, and details are little about the suspicion of a certain “disgruntled angler.” The Wild Fish Conservancy has called out the hatchery program for its harmful effect on the steelhead population, which has declined 97% in Puget Sound waters since 1895. The idea is that these hatcheries, with the way they concentrate populations, may contribute to overfishing. While this problem won’t necessarily be aided by the breakout, it’s interesting to consider the motive behind the operation. We’ve all had fantasies about breaking into the zoo and releasing the animals, but of course, in our urban environment, those animals probably wouldn’t get far. Here’s to hoping that this steelhead liberation contributes in some small way to the restoration of their presence in Pacific Northwest waters.


Good News for the Amazon Rain Forest


amazon-rainforest-heroUnfortunately, there’s a lot of bad news in the sustainability field these days. It’s easy to get discouraged, but there’s always somewhere to find encouragement, and today that positivity can be attained from the fact that Brazil and co. have recently agreed to create a 215 million dollar fund to expand protection of the Amazon rain forest by 34,000 square miles. In an area where logging is a constant threat, it’s good to know that the government is making continual effort towards conserving as much of the epic rain forest as possible. So, if you needed 34,000 square miles of environmental mood boost today, there you go.


Planting Flowers this Spring


spring_flowers-tulipsIf you’re looking to add color to your home or garden in the form of flowers, there are several great plant options that will give you those same beautiful petals to stare at year after year. Spring is a good time to plant because the heat hasn’t fully kicked in yet, but it’s getting there, so you may want to work with haste. Below are a number of plants you can check out if flowers are what you desire. Continue reading


UW Study Finds Glacial Melting Inevitable


west-antarctic-ice-sheet

According to this article in The Seattle Times, a new study out of the UW labels the collapse of large portions of the Antarctic ice sheet inevitable, projecting sea levels to rise by several feet. The only malleable factor seems to be that of timeframe; how the world responds to climate change determining whether the collapse occurs in hundreds or thousands of years. Further danger lies in the way other ice sheets will respond to initial melting, which could transform a few feet of sea level rise into twelve feet or more. In a computer simulation of projected melting, UW researchers found that no matter what the initial degree of melting was, the connecting glacier still vanished as a result. Continue reading


6 Reasons to Love the Rain


umbrellasIf you follow this blog (thanks, by the way), you may be aware that I possess an alarming distaste for sunny weather. Luckily for me, the past few days have provided a temporary respite from the glowing orange beast, replaced by soothing greys and raindrops. But for many, this reversal has been an unfortunate departure from their fun in the sun. While I sympathize (well, not really) with their situation, I thought I would use my blogging platform to try and heighten awareness of how awesome rain is, and maybe make those who loathe it loathe it a little bit less. Continue reading


Reusing Old Shoes


SHOE planterI recently came upon this awesome article about reusing shoes as planters, pretty much the best idea since literal flower beds. As someone who often takes the dirtier, messier, less sensible path to wherever I’m walking, I’m skilled at speeding up the process of wearing out shoes. When they finally become too broken to use for foot housing, it’s easy to just buy a new pair, move on and forget about them. But the truth is, not wearing shoes anymore doesn’t have to mean goodbye. Turning them into planters sounds like one of the most fun and creative sustainable ideas I’ve ever come across. To give it a shot, there are a few steps (sorry) you can take to prepare. Continue reading