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A globe-trotting activist communicates science and the environment

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Day 3 at COP 21: Blue Heads and Murals

Another great day in Paris! I started the day by going to Montsauris Park in the south of the city with Christina, another Conergy Solar Ambassador. We were there to see one of many art installations that have been put up around the city of Paris in conjuction with the climate talks. This one was titled “Where the Tides Ebb and Flow”, and featured many blue heads positioned in a curve, sticking up out of a pond, to represent the impact of rising sea levels on the human race. Continue reading “Day 3 at COP 21: Blue Heads and Murals”

Day 2 at COP 21: Melting Icebergs and the Importance of Productive Direct Action

Hello from Paris! I was up early to do it all over again today, but I did take it a bit slower today since yesterday tired me out. I can’t imagine doing this for 12 days straight – it’s outright exhausting. Saving the planet is tough work, people.

I started my day off with a beautiful walk by the Louvre, along the river Seine, past Notre Dame, and to the Pantheon, where I watched 12 chunks of ice actively melting. The ice was brought from Greenland and is exhibited here in Paris to represent the melting of the polar ice caps, and they are arranged in the shape of a clock. Continue reading “Day 2 at COP 21: Melting Icebergs and the Importance of Productive Direct Action”

Day 1 at COP 21: Kinda Overwhelming

Here I am at COP 21 in Paris! Even though the conference started last Monday, November 30th, I haven’t been able to come until last night, when I flew in from Madrid very late and got up early this morning to see and do as much as I possibly could. I am here for the last few days of the conference, and all fingers and toes are crossed that by the end of Friday, we will have a final draft of a ground-breaking and game-changing climate agreement. Continue reading “Day 1 at COP 21: Kinda Overwhelming”

Urban Sustainability in Madrid

Para leer el artículo en español, por favor desplácese hacia abajo.

My time in Madrid, unfortunately, is almost over, so this blog post is the last one (for the moment) written in Spanish and English. I have traveled so much during the quarter, as you can see from my previous blog posts, but I’ve also been taking lots of classes, including a class about Earth and Water Sustainability in Spain. It’s been my favorite class and we’ve learned so much, not only about general sustainability themes and scientific concepts, but also about the challenges and priorities of sustainability and the environment in a city as modern and big and with the history of Madrid. Continue reading “Urban Sustainability in Madrid”

Renewable Energy Credits (Or, How a Good Idea is Getting in the Way of Corporate Sustainability)

Have you ever walked into a store and spotted a sign stating that the company is “100% powered by renewable energy”? Sustainability and environmental stewardship are becoming more popular in the corporate world, and many businesses are scrambling to “green” their image. But how do these companies actually go about achieving a 100% renewable status? Some have on- or off-site energy renewable generation, as exemplified by Apple’s data center in Maiden, North Carolina. Others make investments, purchase renewable energy directly, or buy carbon offsets. But one of the most popular options is to buy renewable energy credits, or RECs. One REC typically represents one megawatt-hour (mWh) of energy, which is enough energy to power 350 houses for one hour. RECs are sold by utilities and energy producers, and are bought by individuals and businesses.

Continue reading “Renewable Energy Credits (Or, How a Good Idea is Getting in the Way of Corporate Sustainability)”

Skiing Sustainably, and Why It Matters

This week, I am home in Colorado for Spring Break, so I spent a couple days skiing in the mountains with my dad and sister. On Monday, we went to Monarch, a small local resort outside of Salida. Monarch is right in the middle of the Rockies, so there are mountains in every direction. On Tuesday, we went to Copper, which is a much bigger resort in Summit County. Copper also had fantastic views, as well as 4 inches of fresh powder. Continue reading “Skiing Sustainably, and Why It Matters”

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