Author Archives: Marlena Norwood

About Marlena Norwood

Blog Coordinator for the Sustainable World Coalition - marlena@swcoalition.org. Public Health Major at the University of Washington passionate about all aspects of sustainability, especially those that have the potential to improve health around the world.

2014, the Most Sustainable Year Yet!

By Marlena Norwood

pastel-new-year-1435612-1-mEven though today is the last day of 2013, you may not have your 2014 resolutions set in stone. 2013 has been a great year—but how can you make next year even better, and more sustainable? Here we’ve summarized some of the main points from the blog this past year into resolutions for 2014, so you can start off the New Year sustainably.

Resolve to…REDUCE PLASTIC

Our landfills are growing rapidly, and plastics make up 40% of the overall mass. Much of that plastic waste comes from plastic water bottles. Luckily, there is a clear-cut solution—buy a reusable water bottle. Bottles come in every shape and color, with awesome features to fit any drinking style. Check out MiiR’s reusable water bottles—they’re sustainable, stylish, and charitable!

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How to Utilize Solar Power in Your Home

By Amanda Kostina

House Solar PanelWith the leaps and bounds in technology, renewable sources of power are becoming increasingly popular. These days, more and more homeowners are considering the switch to solar power to combat high energy bills and reduce the impact their home has on the environment. While interest in renewable energy is at an all-time high, there is still a bit of confusion over how solar power can be practically applied for residential use.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Solar Power

The first step to understanding how to apply solar usage in your home is to understand what the advantages and disadvantages truly are to making such a switch. The savings on utility bills alone can be the primary influencing factor for many homeowners, but there are more advantages than just a bit more room in the monthly budget. Continue reading

The Need for eCycling in the Digital Age

By Marlena Norwood

pc-hardware-detail-1429440-mAre you buying an electronic device for someone on your list this holiday season? Chances are, the answer is yes. Americans have approximately 24 electronic devices per household—about six devices per person for the average four-person family.

Why this excess? Many companies produce new versions of their cell phones, laptops, and tablets every year. This leaves us the choice to continue using products that will quickly become obsolete, or to leave them behind and jump on the innovative-bandwagon. Continue reading

Best of SoS: Vandana Shiva

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

Vandana_Shiva_from_onlineOn May 28th on Spring of Sustainability, we heard a passionate and powerful exposé on corporate globalization from Vandana Shiva, the brilliant and tireless international activist. Vandana seems to show up everywhere that the big issues are being decided, and is as likely to be found in rural India, helping farmers organize, as she is in the halls of the UN.

We learned from Vandana that the age of globalization is really the age of corporate rule. In the 80s, trade was more fairly and democratically regulated. Globalization is made to look like it creates a more interconnected world, but it has made us more fragmented. Continue reading

Best of SoS: Making Change Irresistible

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

On May 23rd on Spring of Sustainability, we featured a creative and engaging panel with 4 story-meisters on Making Change Irresistible: Getting Your Story Straight. How to give sustainability a personal and inspiring story – a human face – is key to our ability to make it compelling for everyone to be a green and caring global citizen. Continue reading

Civilization Doesn’t Mean Clean Water to Drink

By Madoline Hatter

Those who live within the confines of a city believe that they are living in a civilized world. Although they try to live as best they can with those around them, what exactly entails civilization? Is it the ability to interact with each other in a certain manner? Perhaps civilization is directly influenced by the technology that fills those lives. Regardless of how you view civilization, the term doesn’t mean that there is clean water to drink. Continue reading

Best of SoS: John Robbins

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

JohnRobbinsNewOn May 22nd on Spring of Sustainability, we heard bestselling author John Robbins connect some dots with regard to the food industry in the US.

He made it clear that GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are a commodity that boosts profits for GMO companies (often Monsanto) by requiring farmers to use the same company’s proprietary pesticides. They have not been proven to do anything that would actually benefit the planet: increased yields, increased nutritional content, drought-resistance, need for less fertilizer, etc. These same companies now control government regulatory process such that they are not restricted – and in fact they are often subsidized. Continue reading

Sustainable Gift Giving

By Marlena Norwood

christmas-decoration-and-gifts-1433231-mNow that Thanksgiving festivities have ended, the season of gift giving has officially started. So, what are you going to get for the special people in your life?

Instead of giving generic gifts or ones that will go out of style, give sustainability. Gifts that promote sustainability and the environment will NEVER go out of style, and they’ll keep on giving back to the world. Let’s look at some gift options for your family and friends this holiday season: Continue reading

Antibacterial Products: More Harm Than Good

By Kristin Wartman

We are approaching flu season, and there’s one scene that’s becoming more and more common: people and parents dousing themselves and their children with antibacterial soaps. But this aggressive tactic may actually be causing more harm than good. That’s because antibacterial soaps, much like antibiotics, don’t discriminate between good and bad bacteria — they just obliterate them all. And without the good bacteria protecting us, we may be more likely to get sick in the first place. Continue reading

Best of SoS: John Trudell

This past spring, Sustainable World Coalition co-produced the 2nd annual Spring of Sustainability (SoS), the largest virtual sustainability gathering ever. SoS brought the “best and brightest” leaders in sustainability to the world through teleconference dialogues.

Each week, in our Best of SoS feature, we review one of our favorite episodes. Like what you see? Head over to our upgrade page for a special offer to own the entire Spring of Sustainability series. 

JohntrudellFromInternetOn May 21st on Spring of Sustainability, we were in conversation with John Trudell, the legendary Native American activist and more recently a successful recording artist and activist for hemp legalization.

John made the point that there are 400 treaty law agreements between the US and Native American tribes. According to him, every one of those has been broken. If they were upheld, it would give tribes sovereignty over their land, rather than having them be at the mercy of oil and mining companies and others. Continue reading