Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development

October 30, 2014
by Sullivan Sustainability

Important Tips for Supporting Sustainable Development in Your Everyday Life

earth-43930Sustainable development refers to providing for people’s needs now and in the future without damaging future resources. This is an important concept because everything that people do now affects future generations, especially when it comes to building and the harvesting of earth’s resources. Precious minerals that are mined now aren’t going to be available for future use, and the way cities and infrastructure are planned and built now will also affect many generations to come.

If you’re interested in sustainable development and want to take more responsibility for how your own decisions affect future generations, consider some tips for applying this theory in your everyday life.

Look for companies with fair trade practices.

Fair trade refers to paying companies and individuals in developing countries a fair price for their goods and a fair wage for their labor. This fair trade can apply, for example, to fashion designers and manufacturers who pay a fair price for cotton and other materials that are grown and harvested in developing countries. If a company that produces clothing does not engage in fair trade practices, they may be paying pennies on the dollar for the materials they receive.

The fair wage paid for laborers is also part of fair trade. This refers to farms, factories, and other companies who provide a fair, living wage to their workers and who also provide safe working environments. To qualify as a fair trade company, they not only receive a fair price for their goods but must also pay that fair wage to their own workers.

Fair trade practices protect the development of those in underdeveloped countries. By paying a fair price for goods and a fair wage for labor, this money is then put back into their economy and they too have a chance at future growth and development.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle.

This phrase has been used so often that many people simply ignore it today, but this is one of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to support sustainable development. Reduce your consumption of gasoline by walking, taking public transportation, or carpooling. Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school and around the neighborhood when safe to do so. Reduce your utilities by investing in energy-saving appliances and shutting things off when not in use.

Reusing and recycling can be done around the home but remember to apply these tips when shopping. Buy used clothing and furniture rather than new so you can help cut down on manufacturing. Fix items around the house rather than buying new. By doing this you protect sustainability and reduce consumption.

jam-428094_1280Consider your everyday consumer choices.

Virtually everything you buy can and does affect sustainable development. Make changes by buying locally grown foods as this will mean less transportation to truck in items and in turn, less use of fuel. Buy recyclable batteries and light bulbs with a longer life, and choose naturally sustainable materials when you want to remodel your house. Bamboo grows very quickly and is a good choice for wood floors, and concrete can be used for countertops if it’s stained or painted to look attractive.

Consider how much paper you use around the house when it comes to paper towels and napkins and switch to washable cloths, and forego plastic bags which need to be manufactured and shipped to stores. Always opt for energy-efficient appliances and electronic devices when purchasing something new.

If you are more aware of how your choices affect sustainability then you can make better choices for yourself and your family. In turn you can be protecting development and growth for future generations.


October 30, 2014
by Sullivan Sustainability

Uncommon Sources of Renewable Energy

spatter-83169_1280Our Planet is suffering from environmental cancer. Greenhouse gases has caused Earth to heat up immensely. If we continue to rely on fossil fuel, it is estimated that earth would heat up to about six degrees Celsius by the year 2100. On the other hand, by using alternative fuel, we can slow down the heat up of the world’s surface to about one to two degrees Celsius only.

Humans have heavily suffered from the massive changes in climate in the recent years. Fields have dried up due to droughts. Hurricanes and typhoons seem to increase in speed and velocity, destroying lives and properties along the way. The icecaps are now melting causing the sea levels to rise. If we do not shift from the normal fossil fuel, humanity’s eminent death will come sooner than we think.

What are some of the Uncommon Alternative Energy Sources?

We have all heard about many sources of renewable energy. We have solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal energies. The use of such energy sources have increased to about 30% all over the world. Aside from this resources, there are also the uncommon sources of renewable energy.

Methane energy – Methane gas is the byproduct of burning gas and coal, landfills and your common trash. This renewable energy can be easily accessible. By using this gas, we can minimize the bad effects it does to our ozone layer such as greenhouse effect. By using Methane, it is converted from a pollutant to fuel like commodity.

Biofuel – Ethanol, which is a product derived from sugar cane can be used as a substitute to gasoline for cars. It can be used as a heat source for cold month as well. By using biofuel, we can have an alternative energy resource that can be replenished easily.

tree-wood-140567_1280Woodchips – The University of Antwerp is now currently studying the use of fast growing trees such as willows to produce woodchips. First they grow a forest that provides a good source of oxygen. The trees also absorb CO2 in the atmosphere which helps humans breathe fresh air. Once the trees reach about an inch or so in diameter, they are harvested and ground into woodchips. The woodchips are then sold to be used in power plants. They are also used for heating by helping create steam in houses and livestock farms.

Kinetic Energy – Have you ever seen a mouse running on a wheel? Well as the wheel spins, it produces kinetic energy that can power a small light bulb. The same principle can used in households. There has been experiments where humans using stationary bicycles or treadmills which are connected to batteries which in turn stores energy. This renewable energy resource is beneficial in many ways. First it allows the person to produce small amounts of electricity that can be used to power laptops, cellphones or light bulbs. Second, the person benefits by getting physical exercise to sustain vitality. This energy resource may not be able to power a whole house but would be very useful to help the environment.

There is only one Earth. If our planet continues to degrade and change it may turn into a hostile desert where humans may not be able to survive. If the ice caps continue to melt, then the water may flood all the available land killing both humans and animals. We must do something now while we have the time. We must minimize our carbon footprints. Renewable energy is one of the answers to the cancer that is now eating our beloved planet.