The Concept of Social Sustainability

Sustainability is a simple concept that emphasizes human beings’ ability to meet their own needs without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to do the same. In other words, it is the coexistence of human civilization and nature.

Sustainability consists of three main pillars and today we will take a look at one of the most overlooked ones: Social Sustainability!

What Is Social Sustainability?

As we mentioned above, social sustainability is one of the most overlooked concepts of sustainable development. It is about meeting the needs of people of today and tomorrow by promoting social well-being. It refers to all the formal and informal processes, structures and systems that can help to create a healthy and sustainable community. It encompasses the following subjects: social justice, social equity, health equity, community development, social capital, social support, human rights, labor rights, social responsibility and cultural competence.

Another, more recent approach claims that all the pillars of sustainability such as the economic, environmental, political and cultural, should all be considered social due to their inherent connection with matters relating to social and natural interactivity.

Below you will find some more definitions of social sustainability:

Social sustainability is a process for creating sustainable, successful places, by understanding what people need from the places they live and work. Social sustainability combines the design of the physical realm with the design of the social world – infrastructure to support social and cultural life, social amenities, systems for citizen engagement and space for people and places to evolve.”

From Social Life, a UK based enterprise

Social sustainability includes achieving a fair degree of social homogeneity, equitable income

distribution, employment that allows the creation of decent livelihoods, and equitable access to

resources and social services, a balance between respect of tradition and innovation, and self-reliance, endogeneity and self-confidence.”

– From Sachs, 1999

The Dimensions of Social Sustainability

  • Equity

The word equity is not the same as equality. Equity can be defined as when a society provides equitable chances to all its members, especially the poorest and most vulnerable class of the society. It is about creating more opportunities for those in need. For instance, in the educational field, additional help and support may be given to children belonging to the lower social class. 

  • Diversity

It means understanding and respecting everyone regardless of their differences. These differences could be race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs or other ideologies. It is about accepting and including every person in the mainstream society. Therefore, social sustainability encourages and promotes diversity.

  • Interconnected/Social Cohesions

Have you ever heard of the word social cohesion? It can be defined as connectedness and solidarity among groups in the society. It is categorized into two dimensions. The first one refers to the sense of belonging in a society, while the second one refers to how due to the relationship shared between members of the community, they can trust each other.

Society provides processes, systems and institutions that promote social cohesion. For instance, religion is an institution provided by the community which promotes social solidarity, social harmony and social unity. For example, acts of worship in a group from different religions promote 


  • Quality of Life

The traditional basic needs include food, shelter and clothing. However, modern lists focus on other elements such as education, housing, employment, sanitation and healthcare. It is seen that the role of the community is to ensure that the basic needs of individuals, particularly the needy ones, are met and that all members of the society is leading a good life. For instance, many countries’ governments tend to provide housing and education facilities to the lowest class of the social hierarchy.

  • Democracy and Governance

We have often heard of the word democracy, but what does it really mean? It is a type of government where the people have the power and authority to choose their government representatives. The main objective of a democratic system is to encourage and protect the fundamental rights of each individual. Therefore, a democratic government is one that is accountable to the general public.

  • Maturity

In the social context, maturity refers to the individual behaviors in accordance with social norms. It is about respecting and conforming to the expected and accepted patterns of behaviors in the society.

Social sustainability is a concept that is often neglected by society. However, now that you have discovered this unique and social component of sustainability, what are your perspectives? Please share your comments!

The Concept of Economic Sustainability

In 2018, Former President Trump stated: “These numbers are very, very sustainable. This isn’t a one-time shot!” You might wonder why he mentioned sustainability when talking about the US economy.

My dear friends, allow me to tell you that there is a relationship between economics and sustainability which we will discuss further below.

Economic Sustainability

Sustainability is a simple concept that emphasises human beings’ ability to meet their own needs without jeopardising future generations’ ability to do the same. In other words, it is the coexistence of human civilisation and nature.

Now let’s talk about economics. It is a social science which explains the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. It is also concerned with the three fundamental economic aspects – scarcity, opportunity cost and demand and supply. Economics can be further divided into macroeconomics which refers to the behaviour and decision-making of an economy as a whole and microeconomics which studies the implications of individuals’ behaviours and decisions.

Overall, economics represents one of the four essential pillars of sustainability and these three points will elaborate on the definition of economic sustainability.

  • The first definition of economic sustainability is how it refers to an economic development that does not have any negative impacts on the social, environmental, and cultural aspects of a community.
  • Second definition is where economic sustainability is associated with economic growth. And sustainable economic growth can be defined as an increase in the total amount of capital without creating some significant economic problems that can affect negatively future generations.
  • The third definition is where the economy is used as a tool to promote sustainability. For instance, economic institutions and structures are employed to boost sustainable development.

Now, let’s look at a definition of the term economic sustainability by the University of Mary Washington:

Economic sustainability refers to practices that support long-term economic growth without negatively impacting the social, environmental, and cultural aspects of the community.”

The Alternative, a green political party in Denmark tend to emphasise a lot on economic sustainability. According to its theories, the current neoliberal economic system dominating the world has increased the inequality gap, where the rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer. They reject the past years’ economic growth, accompanied by excessive costs and have used up the earth’s natural resources at a very fast rate. They believe that the current economic systems will lead to food shortages, unbearable temperatures, mass migration and a collapse of the ecosystem. Therefore, the concept of economic sustainability is not about promoting growth but green transformation in the society.

A great man once said that, “problems cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that lead to their creation.” Similarly, it applies to how problems arising from old economic systems cannot be solved using old economic thinking and thus, a new system must be created.

To better understand the above concept, let’s take a tour around the economic system. For instance, economic utility and maximisation of sales and profits form part of the elements of an open-market economy. However, based on the concept of economic sustainability, maximisation of profits and individual consumer satisfaction are two aspects which can ultimately lead to the depletion of both natural and social resources.

Moreover, conceptually and geographically, there has been a disconnection between producers and consumers. As a result of specialisation and mass production, consumers no longer know where their products are coming from and who is involved in their production. For instance, consumers do not know whether rules and regulations were respected during the production process.

Another displeasing factor is how today’s advertising consists of a lot of disinformation. For instance, greenwashing is a common tendency where many companies employ certain marketing strategies which convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not.

As you have read above, the “old” economics system can no longer be used in the contemporary world. Hence, this new framework that we call economic sustainability will give rise to a “new” economics.

Economic sustainability is an economic system based on a new paradigm with different goals, boundaries and rules compared to the traditional one. Can our society adjust and adapt to this new concept? Please share your comments below!

Sustainable Eating Plans

What you choose to put on your plate can have the most significant impact on your carbon footprint. At least three times a day, you make choices about how to calm your growling belly and fuel your body – these choices can have a lighter or a heavier impact on Mother Earth. In the modern agricultural system, plant-based foods are grown using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and fossil fuels, which degrade the soil and promote monocultures. These plants are fed to animals, often concentrated on farms where the animals live short and miserable lives. Their manure is concentrated, polluting the soil, waterways, and air.

If you are looking to change your eating habits, then here are some ways to do it without harming the environment and taking care of the other parts of the environment.


1. Eat more plants

Raising animals for meat and dairy requires space and vast amounts of water and feed. The livestock industry alone causes nearly 15% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. With meat consumption increasing 500% worldwide between 1992 and 2016, it is clear that we need to rebalance our diets by prioritizing veggies while moderating our intake of animal products.

2. Eat more varieties

As 75% of the world’s food supply comes from just 12 plants and five animal species. Greater diversity in our diet is essential, as the lack of variety in agriculture is bad for nature and a threat to food security.

3. Use your voice

There is no need to burn or cut down another tree. There is more than enough land to grow food to feed another 2 billion people by 2050. Help us put pressure on the government by demanding deforestation-free food.
Make a sign placard

4. Find out more about your fish

In the UK, people eat £4.5 billion worth of fish every year. Still, high demand and poor management have led to overfishing, which has dramatically reduced the number of firm favorites, such as North Sea cod and wild Atlantic salmon. When shopping, do look out for labels such as the blue MSC label or ASC, which indicate that the fish comes from a well-managed source and try lesser-known species such as pollock, saithe, and hake.

5. Reduce waste

We know that food waste is a big problem. Almost 30% of the food produced is wasted, with all the consequences for the environment. If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US. Reduce waste in your household is simple: freeze anything you can’t eat fresh and buy individual products whenever possible, so you can choose precisely the amount you need.

6. Grow your food

It is always better to have fresh, home-grown produce straight from the garden. Not only is it healthy and delicious, but it’s also free of the carbon footprint of store-bought food.

7. Look for products with RSPO certified palm oil.

The unsustainable palm oil is responsible for large-scale deforestation, threatening wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and a greater risk of climate change. However, rejecting palm oil altogether may have unintended consequences, as alternatives are maybe even worse for the environment, as up to nine times more land is needed to produce some varieties. When shopping, look for products with RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil.

8. Pass on plastic

Plastic has infiltrated our nature and even our diet. Bring a reusable bag when you store, choose packaging-free fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and ask brands and retailers that continue to use plastic to find alternatives.

9. Eat what’s in season

Try to incorporate seasonal produce from your local farm or greengrocer into your diet whenever possible. This will support the local economy and help you get to know local producers and get tips on preparing seasonal produce.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 4)

In any economy, consumers are usually king. However, greenwashing is a marketing ploy that misleads consumers. As a consumer, you need to be aware of the products you are purchasing.

Below you will find some tips to help you identify and avoid greenwashing!

#1. Knowledge Is Power

People are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

– Hosea 4:6

As a consumer, it is vital that you are aware of the greenwashing techniques used by companies to sell their products. You must be familiar with the terminologies employed such as “all-natural” or “low emission,” etc.

For instance, one should be aware of the sin of irrelevance of greenwashing. For example, a product may claim to be a “CFC- Free” one and the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the law generally bans CFCs, which you should be aware of as a consumer. Know all the greenwashing techniques to stop yourself from getting fooled.

When in doubt, turn to your trusty friend Google! Nowadays, with globalisation and advances in technology, there are many blogs and online forums where green movement activists share and discuss information about companies that convey misleading information about their products.


#2. Ask Questions

If you are not sure that a product is genuinely made from recycled materials, don’t hesitate to ask the company questions. When you probe for more details, you will be able to identify whether the company’s claims about their products are valid or not.


#3. Don’t Go for Products, Go for Brands

Nowadays, it is easier to find a chocolate producer with three out of its fifty products having been certified as sustainable and eco-friendly. However, it is much more complicated to find a company where all of its products are made from recycled materials and positively impact the environment.

However, the companies that abide by the highest sustainability features when producing their products are not driven by money and profits but instead want to spread their green message to the whole world.

How can you identify such companies?

  • By the word of mouth
  • Their eco-friendly measures described on their websites

#4. Packaging

Like how appearances can be deceptive, the packaging is also one of the elements used by companies to deceive consumers. Suppose that a product is packaged with 100% recycled material, but what about the contents of the product?

Many companies use green-coloured packaging to emphasise the idea that their products are eco-friendly. Some even go as far as including natural imagery like green leaves and animals in a forest. A great example of this is the Huggies Pure and Nature diaper line packaging displaying a child surrounded by green colours. This is intended to show that the child is happy, healthy, and with nature thanks to the product.

Consumers should not be carried away by the packaging of the lovely and “all-green” product!


#5. Beware of Buzzwords

Companies often use buzzwords like organic, natural, green, low-impact and eco-friendly to fool customers in buying their products and these words are used without having any legal repercussions.

Here is an extract from the second article in this series, where we talked about the sin of vagueness:

Sin of vagueness is when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.”

To have a green lifestyle doesn’t only mean using products that are labelled green. As a consumer, you are also responsible for the demand and supply of a product and hence you should be able to recognise greenwashing. Please share your comments!

Simplify, Lighten and Clean up: 3 Things We Can All Do to Live Better

You don’t need a list of Eco-products, just a few common-sense ideas that are easy to put into practice. The problem with the lists of recommendations to live better, in a more sustainable way (that is, improving the environment in which we live, in a long way in time) is that some can be followed, but many others cannot, and some are frankly absurd. For example, “use the bicycle to get around” is of little use if you have to take two or three small children to school. To take another example, “take a shower instead of a bath” is something that everyone does without thinking unless they have a lot of free time, a bathtub, and a large capacity water heater. So realistic and operational recommendations come in handy, which anyone can adapt to their particular circumstances to improve their life. Digging through manuals on sustainable lifestyles, we have found these three general ideas, giving a lot of play if you squeeze them a little.


#1. Simplify

Smiley Face Of Yellow Dandelions And White Daisies On Green Grass.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 89047622.

We continually complain about the lack of time that our fast-paced lifestyle implies, but the truth is that we do not stop complicating the same. We just have to take a look at the cleaning supplies closet. We may see two dozen different products, from vacuum cleaner dust bag refills to destroyer grease remover. The action to take is to throw everything away (with due precautions) and keep only a broom, a mop, a bar of eco-friendly soap, and a vinegar bottle. We can continue eliminating a few appliances that we have not used since we bought them or give us more work than they take away (in the case of the mythical yogurt maker or the cumbersome fruit and vegetable blender). But the concept of simplification can go further. Back to the example above, the solution to taking the children to their educational destination may be to choose the one in the neighborhood to walk themselves with their friends when they are old enough. Or, for any journey, instead of using a vehicle (public or private), simply walk if the distance is not very long. Obviously, a shower is a simpler option than a bathtub bath; we all agree there. Sweeping or mopping can be easier than using a vacuum cleaner.


#2. Lighten

CITMA - Environmental credentials are hotter than ever

In this case, it is the backpack of energy, water, and materials, including food, that we all carry with us. It can be tremendous, in the order of several tons of oil, fifty or more cubic meters of water, and thousands of kilos of various materials, not counting a couple of buckets of different toxic substances. The problem is that the planet does not have enough space for so many people with such large backpacks, and enormous backpacks – some gigantic – are owned by wealthy citizens of rich countries.

To go lighter through life, we only have to find out our backpack’s size or its equivalent ecological footprint. You just have to fill out this survey (it takes two minutes ), and you will see your footprint in terms of planets Earth. That is, if everyone had the same footprint as you, how many planets Earth would we need? The downside is that we only have one. If your footprint exceeds unity (as is often the case), start taking steps to reduce it. Consider a series of ecological transitions, according to your personal and vital circumstance: change the car for the bike (transition in transport), meat for legumes (transition in food), etc.


#3. Sanitize

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for the Quarantine | Spring Power & Gas

It’s a word with several meanings…Here, we use it to repair and prevent damage. It is about minimizing or completely eliminating the components that your body does not recognize and to which, therefore, it does not know how to react. These are additives in food, pesticides in food, contaminants in fuels, poisons in cleaning products, and so on.

The list is very long, but we can start sanitation by thinking about the activities we carry out. It is enough to simplify (see above) to eliminate all toxins in one fell swoop in cleaning. In food, when we talk about processed foods, armed with a magnifying glass, we can reject all those products packed with additives (they are those that appear with an E- followed by a number, you can consult this guide here). One or two additives may be acceptable, but many foods contain more than three or four and up to ten or twelve of these substances, which indicate very poor quality food. If we buy fresh food, seasonal and organically grown ones are preferable. In transport, the formula is simple, abandon the heat or combustion engine. In terms of DIY, use water-based paints, non-toxic varnishes, etc.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 2)

In part 1, we were introduced to the world of greenwashing. Do you still remember what is greenwashing? If not, let me refresh it for you!

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies that convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not.

There are many aspects involved in greenwashing and today, we will learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

7 Sins of Greenwashing

Similar to the seven deadly sins, the seven sins of Greenwashing, classified by TerraChoice, are provided below:

1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off

The hidden trade-off sin involves a company claiming its products as environmentally-friendly and green based on a narrow set of information without taking into consideration other more critical environmental issues such as gas emissions. The product may appear sustainable while ignoring essential ecological attributes such as the use of toxic chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. For example, even though paper might come from a sustainably-harvested forest, it is still not environmentally friendly as the air pollution caused by its manufacturing process can lead to serious health problems such as asthma and upper respiratory tract disease.

2. Sin of No Proof

As the name suggests, this refers to making environmental claims without any easily accessible evidence, such as a reliable certification on either the label or the company’s website to back up claims of eco-friendliness.

This is one of the most widespread greenwashing strategies used by companies as anyone can make baseless environmental claims without any factual evidence. For instance, toilet tissue companies claim that a certain percentage of their products are made from consumer-recycled content. However, no genuine information or factual data has been provided to support that claim.

3. Sin of Vagueness

Remember that interview with Andrew Marr, where Theresa May, the Former Prime Minister of England, had dodged questions by providing vague answers. This also refers to a similar technique used by some companies.

The sin of vagueness refers to when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.

Moreover, the term chemical-free is also not acceptable as, according to chemists’ perspectives, all objects and substances are made up of chemicals. For example, even water is a chemical. As a result, these words used do not give an accurate picture of the products.

4. Sin of Irrelevance

Another greenwashing ploy is making an environmental claim, which might be true but unimportant and unhelpful. A great and typical example is the advertisement of “CFC- Free” products where the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the laws generally ban CFCs.

5. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils

Here, the sin is about how the claim about a specific product in a category may be genuine but the whole category itself carries numerous risks. One simple example that will make you understand the concept is the use of organic cigarettes. They may be organic, but they are still cigarettes!

And even a small kid knows the health consequences of cigarettes!

6. Sin of Fibbing

This refers to the sin of advertising and claiming something which is not valid. In simpler words, it refers to lying blatantly. For instance, a company claiming to be Energy Star Certified when it is not or when a car company lies about how its cars emit zero carbon dioxide in the air.

It is about making up false claims, inventing facts and showing fake certificates and this method is genuinely illegal. However, most of the time, the government does not usually catch these companies.

7. Sin of Worshipping False Labels

The last sin refers to when companies create false labels or certifications to lead consumers into deception. It is about misleading consumers into believing that a particular product went through a green check process and is an environmentally-friendly product.

What do you think of these seven sins of greenwashing? Now, can you easily trust advertisement claims about environmentally-friendly products? Please share your comments and don’t forget to come back for part 3!

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 1)

Sustainability is meeting our needs without endangering the available resources for future generations. It is a term which you may have heard often. However, have you ever heard of the term ‘greenwashing?’

If not, then get ready to discover and learn more about it in this ongoing series!

What Is Greenwashing?

The United Nations has always supported sustainability efforts and encouraged the worldwide implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, as per the Nielsen Global Survey, many online customers from over 60 countries agree that they would be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly goods and services. However, instead of genuinely integrating sustainable practices into their business models, some companies make the wrong use of the sustainability concept to boost their profits.

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies which convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not. Green values and green marketing are used to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s overall production is highly sustainable. It is about companies spending more money trying to persuade consumers that their practices are environmentally friendly than actually making them so. These companies aim to have a more positive impact on consumers and build a better image of their organisation in consumers’ eyes.

A classic case of greenwashing is the Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ engine scandal. The car manufacturing corporation admitted to having cheated with the emission tests to make their cars appear more sustainable than they actually were.

Origins of Greenwashing

The origins of greenwashing can be traced back to 1986, where the hotel industry placed notices in each room asking the guests to reuse their towels to save the environment. At that time, Jay Westervelt, an American environmentalist, noted that there was a considerable amount of wastage in the hotel despite this environmentally friendly act and no real efforts were being done to reduce it and promote sustainability. In the end, hoteliers benefited from the increase in profit due to a reduction in laundry costs.

Around that same period, Chevron, an oil industry company in the United States, ran a campaign called ‘People Do’ where its employees were protecting bears, butterflies and other animals. The series of television and print ads had the sole purpose of convincing people that they have environmentally ethical business practices. The commercials were so persuasive that they even won the 1990 Effie advertising award. However, Chevron was sued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as it violated the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act by dumping oil in wildlife refuges.

How Greenwashing Works?

To increase the demand for their products, companies make false claims about how their goods are produced from recycled materials, free from chemicals, more natural and biodegradable. Sometimes their claims may be partly accurate, but the companies will tend to exaggerate to convince people to buy from them.

For instance, Tyson Foods, an American food multinational corporation was accused due to their false claims of using antibiotic-free chickens while McDonald’s paper straws were found to be non-recyclable due to the recycling structure in England. Additionally, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) in Germany was subjected to much criticism as rather than being a scientific research organisation as suggested by its name, it is a lobby organisation which spreads fake news on climate change on its website.

Moreover, a rise in demand will lead to an increase in price which will most likely benefit suppliers and hence products are renamed, rebranded and repackaged. They are used to trick consumers into believing that they are sustainable products. For example, words such as ‘go green’, ‘eco-friendly’ are used as marketing ploys. For instance, L’Oreal mislabelled some of its hair products by marketing them as ‘vegan-friendly’ despite having done product testing on animals. As a result, greenwashing is a weapon used by companies to increase their net profit.

Furthermore, the media such as TV commercials and press releases are widely used by both individuals and companies to greenwash their products and services. How can we forget when the former US President Donald Trump claimed to be “the number one environmental President since Teddy Roosevelt” during his speech in Florida?

What do you think now that you have learn about greenwashing? Have you encountered companies who have used such a strategy? Please share your opinions and don’t forget to come for part 2 of this ongoing series to learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

What Role Does A Land Management Consultant Play in Sustainable Development?

We are constantly being told about various land conservation and sustainable development drives being carried, and famous land management consultants being called in to give their opinion. Have you ever wondered what exactly IS a Land Management Consultant, and what precise role they play? Since I was curious, I decided to dig deeper, and met with the folks over at Land Management Systems in Ringwood to see how they could enlighten me.

The first question I had was – what is a Land Management Consultant? While the job title seems pretty self-explanatory, it involves a lot more than just looking at a plot of land and deciding what you can and can’t do with it. Whether it’s a piece of land being considered for protection or a long-held parcel in need of a management plan, a Land Management Consultant needs to develop a thorough understanding of flora and fauna to offer detailed recommendations for maximizing its potential in a sustainable way.

It’s a career path that suits those who shudder at the idea of spending time in an office. If you prefer fields to filing, you meet one of the criteria for a career in land management.

What Does the Job Involve?

The main focus is to help landowners, farmers and construction contractors maintain and manage their plots of land in the most environmentally friendly manner. You’re likely to be working with a wide range of clients on any given day too. One moment, you could be devising a plan to help Famer McDonald get the most out of his land, the next, you’re working with the local council and using your expert knowledge of environmental and sustainability issues to help preserve the wildlife in national parks and conservation areas, whilst making them accessible for all kinds of people. You could also use the same knowledge to review development plans and help a construction firm obtain their environmental impact assessment report. Like we said, this is not a career path for those who don’t like getting their hands dirty.

What do I Need to Work in Land Management?

If you want to work in this area, it is highly important that you have a passion for the environment. That’s not to say that you should have been implementing land management schemes in your local area since the age of eight, but when applying for these roles you need to demonstrate the fact that this career path genuinely means something to you.

This is where work experience, volunteer work and internships come into play. This will give you a great insight into the industry, help you build up the key skills that you need and show that you care about the environment too.

Some people choose to specialise in one area of land management. For instance, some people might focus their efforts on agricultural land use. Other people decide to focus on the management of forests and woodland areas.

The other important thing you need to make a successful career out of Land Management is people skills. It’s all well and good being passionate about the environment, and you could be a real analytical prodigy, but if you can’t communicate effectively, you won’t get very far. Experience matters a great deal too. Experience helps each consultant understand the job and helps build a network of professionals who may play a role in the management work. A good consultant will know the right loggers, the best seed and plant distributors, and the most reliable labour sources for each job.

I’m sure we can infer that a Land Management Consultant plays a bigger role in conservation and sustainability than a lot of us give them credit for. How about you? Do you feel like Land Management might be something you are interested in? Leave a comment below and share your views!

Disposable: What Is Best for the Environment?

The greenest choice you can make is undoubtedly to stop using disposables. It’s better to avoid using disposable plates, glasses, and cutlery and limit them to those occasions when you can’t do otherwise.
For instance, using durable plates, glasses instead of disposable ones and washing them in the eco mode to minimize water and energy consumption is a wiser option.

But when disposable is inevitable, what is the best choice for the environment? Giving a specific answer is not easy because the data concerning the environmental impact such as water consumption, soil, ecotoxicity, climate change, etc., different items have can be conflicting. However, one of the most eco-friendly solutions is to choose compostable tableware that can be found in the following materials:

Bamboo – Bamboo is a fast-growing material, only 3-5 years old, compared to other conifers that might take 10-20 years. Nonetheless, bamboo plates and cutlery are quite fragile, leading to more waste than other types. If you’re opting for this material, select organic bamboo tableware from sustainable crops and reuse it as much as possible.

Premium Photo | Disposable tableware made of bamboo wood and paper.

Wood- It is biodegradable and compostable. Go for those made of recycled wood. Wooden disposable cutlery can be used several times, so avoid throwing them away after the first use.

Finnish Kuksa - Bushcraft Canada

Potato – Yes! Dishes and bowls can be made from potato paste obtained from industrial potato processing waste. They cannot be reused, but they are biodegradable and become compostable within a few weeks. They can then be used for composting at home as well.

Pulp Tek Round White Sugarcane / Bagasse Extra Large Plate - 11 3/4" x 11  3/4" x 1" - 100 count box - -

Palm leaves – These are obtained by processing and drying palm leaves and are easily compostable. Mixed plant fibers are usually a mixture of bamboo and processing waste of other plant fibers. Look for them with organic certification.

Flat Lay Photos, 168,000+ High Quality Free Stock Photos

Compared to other options such as paper, plastic, cellulose, and others, it is impossible to rank all materials involved according to their environmental impact. Still, we’ve classified them based on their contribution to climate change.

Polyethylene (PE) laminated carton – This is a carton board suitable for food contact, bonded to a thin layer of polyethylene by lamination.

Polypropylene (PP) – It is centrifuged (a technique used to separate particles based on their size, shape, density, etc.) after cleaning, dried, and stabilized with additives before being extruded into pellets.

Polystyrene (PS) – polymer obtained by polymerization of styrene, an aromatic hydrocarbon.

Polylactic acid (PLA) – polymer obtained from plants such as corn, wheat or beets, sugar cane, and rich in natural sugar (dextrose).

Cellulose pulp – Cellulose pulp is obtained from wood by various methods, starting from the trunk or processing waste. The three main pulp production chains are the sulfate cycle (about 80%), the sulfite cycle, and the semi-chemical cycle.

Pulp contributes the least to climate change but is better than PP, PS, and PLA in water and soil consumption. In contrast, the pulp is better than polylactic acid (PLA) because of its ecotoxicity in the marine environment.

Disposable plastic waste accounts for 49% of pollution problems, but eliminating plastic is not enough to improve it. It is essential to correct bad habits and dispose of plastic waste properly so that it can be recycled and reused to the maximum extent possible without ending up in the sea, where it would become dangerous for the marine ecosystem and the food chain to which we belong.

When disposal is unavoidable in some cases, such as events involving large numbers of people or when it is impossible to wash the dishes, try to at least minimize consumption through these good practices:

Choose food and products that do not require containers or cutlery and can be easily eaten with hands.
Ensure that each guest can easily recognize his glass and perhaps the plate and write a symbol or initials on it. In this way, they won’t be using more than one and lead to more waste.

Reuse plates, glasses, and cutlery whenever possible; even “disposable” items can be washed and reused several times, especially those made of bamboo and wood.

Differentiate between the various types of plates, cutlery, and glasses after use, remove food debris, and dispose of them as directed.

What are your thoughts about disposables? Share it with us in the comments below!

Sustainable Food – At What Cost?

Mention a local, sustainable food program to most chefs and foodservice operators, and you might see a glazed look in their eyes. Or worse, they will start shaking, stuttering, and breaking into cold sweats, mumbling something like “it costs too much” while looking for a way out of the conversation. By converting conventional food programs into more sustainable models, I have not only experienced these anxiety symptoms myself, but I have also found a tonic to cure them.


Sustainable food promotes environmental, economic, social, and nutritional well-being. However, in terms of the exact models of a sustainable food program, whether in a school system, hospital, restaurant, or university, no two models are alike, nor should they be. Locality, fiscal and physical limitations, staff size, and skill level are just some of the factors that make this type of program challenging to replicate. However, when it comes to dollars and cents, each institution shares the same common denominators: food, work, and other expenses. These realities will ultimately be affected – up or down – and that can ensure the success of a program.

The Real Cost of Food

The difference between purchasing sustainably produced food and conventional food is likely to be more generous. And it should be! For too long, we have paid a hidden cost for “cheap food,” and this cost is beginning to manifest itself in countless environmental, health, and trade tragedies. Small and medium-sized farmers and producers deserve a fair price for their efforts, and we must give it to them. The good news is that there is a way to reduce the impact on our bottom line and support these artisans simultaneously.

Many wonder how much more it will cost. Let’s be clear: food costs typically account for one-third of our total expenses. Therefore, any shift to buying more sustainable food will only impact a portion of our total budget. This, coupled with the fact that it is unlikely that we will replace each ingredient with a sustainable equivalent, means that changes in food costs will represent no more than a percentage of your total operating costs.

The food service industry has created its monster. For years, we have responded to customer dissatisfaction with quantity rather than quality. We add more options. We increase the size of the menu, the size of the food court, and everything – including portions! Well, guess what? Customers are often still unhappy. What’s needed is more emphasis on fewer choices. And the results you can expect? Less waste, more attention to detail, more resources for a better quality product.

Labor costs

Like food, the labor costs and staff levels required to produce sustainable food will fluctuate with the program’s scale. Fresh, whole foods require more “manual labor” than processed foods. However, many do not stop to realize that with some strategic menu planning, you can save labor. If staff levels were designed to produce a menu loaded with many options, reducing those choices and focusing on the quality rather than the number of ingredients will help balance the workload.

But be aware of staff skill levels. For too long, many “cooks” have become complacent in their art. Those who had culinary skills, to begin with, may have forgotten or misplaced them with the advent of highly processed foods. In recent decades, there has been an influx of less-skilled labor into the foodservice sector – it doesn’t take much talent to open cans and tins and work in a line kitchen. It’s essential to teach staff how to handle all these new and marvelous foods properly. What is the point of investing in better food if the customer is served food that is poorly prepared and poorly presented? The investment in restructuring and staff training cannot be neglected; otherwise, the result will waste time and money.

Other costs

Other costs, such as infrastructure, equipment, marketing, and advisory resources, need to be considered part of a more sustainable food program. But like food and labor costs, they should not be overlooked either. Systematically reviewing the entire food chain, from purchasing to service, will reveal opportunities and limitations and ultimately create a menu that uses ingredients that will fit your business model.

And don’t go it alone! Would a neurosurgeon start his practice without training? Would you hire a chef who has no experience in the kitchen? So why would you try a sustainable food program without using the best resources? Look for well-connected organizations in agriculture. Use the many “Farm-to-Chef” and “Farm-to-School” programs that exist across the state and country. Hire a resource to help you get it right. One thing I hear most often when I travel around the restaurant world is, “Oh, we know how to do this ourselves.” We don’t need any help”. If that’s the case, why are there so few genuinely sustainable food programs?

In the end, a sustainable food program may cost a little more, but it will also provide peripheral savings. I have seen kitchens eliminate disposable dishes, set up composting programs, then save on waste removal and procurement costs.

On the one hand, engaging in the process of prioritizing sustainability is not an easy undertaking. On the other hand, any conventional restoration program that is fortunate enough to be led by people who have the courage and willingness to invest in knowledgeable resources, training, and dedicated effort will reap the abundant benefits of this new food movement. So wipe that sweaty front, stop mumbling about costs and seize this opportunity. Such a modest investment will ultimately pay off for everyone.