UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 3)

What Is the Concept of Sustainable Development?

Sustainable development is the concept that defines the need for transition and change that our planet and its inhabitants need to live in a more equitable, healthy, and environmentally friendly world.

A model for the organization of society:

Sustainable development comes from the combination of two words, which, put together, define a model of the organization of society.

By development, we mean the improvement of the performances (economic, social, etc…) of a society.

The term sustainable characterizes something that lasts, that is stable and resistant.

The combination of the two words defines sustainable development: the improvement of the performance of a society to make it stable in time.

Sustainable development is a way of organizing society to meet the needs of the present as effectively as possible without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Today, this transition to a more sustainable model is necessary to live in a more equitable world and to preserve our planet and its natural resources.

The model of a sustainable society is based on fundamental pillars and principles.

The three pillars of sustainable development

Sustainable development implies a mode of organization based on 3 essential pillars:

The environmental quality of human activities to limit environmental impacts and preserve ecosystems and natural resources in the long term.

Social equity ensures that all members of society have access to basic resources and services (education, health, food, housing, etc.) to meet humanity’s needs, reduce inequalities and maintain social cohesion.

Economic efficiency by reducing extreme poverty and guaranteeing employment for the greatest number of people in an economic activity that pays a decent wage. A sustainable economy is a healthy management of human activities without harming humans or the environment.

These 3 pillars make up the challenges of sustainable development. These pillars are accompanied by fundamental principles to achieve a more sustainable society.

The fundamental principles of sustainable development

UNESCO’s Declaration of Ethical Principles in Relation to Climate Change (Part 2)

Solidarity between countries, peoples, generations, and members of society. For example: save raw materials so that the greatest number of people can benefit from them.

Precaution in decisions in order not to cause catastrophes when we know that there are risks to health or the environment. For example: limiting CO2 emissions to slow down climate change.

Participation of everyone, regardless of their profession or social status, ensures the success of sustainable projects. For example: setting up children and youth councils.

Responsibility of everyone, citizen, industrialist, or farmer. So that whoever damages, degrades, and pollutes repairs. For example: make the industries that pollute a lot pay a tax.

These principles are sometimes incompatible with the consumer society in which we live.

This is why many people (elected officials, associations, companies, individuals, young people…) are asking that our economic system be rethought to move towards a more sustainable society to preserve the planet and its resources.

Sustainable development is an urgent need and a real opportunity to redesign our society.

Why is sustainable development essential today?

In 1800, there were 900 million human beings on earth. In 2020, our planet will be home to 7.8 billion people. This strong population growth is accompanied by increased demand for goods and services and production methods that lead to environmental and social disorders.

In the 1970s, many experts and scientists sounded the alarm about the impact of human activity on the planet. Since the industrial revolution, our society has experienced unprecedented development, but without really measuring the consequences of the evolution of its lifestyle. To this have been added:

the acceleration of exchanges with the rest of the world (globalization);

the increase in inequalities between rich and developing countries;

the demographic growth forecasts aim at 10 billion inhabitants on the planet by 2100.

Today, 80% of natural resources are consumed by 20% of the world’s population. This creates areas of great wealth and great poverty. In some areas of the world, the inhabitants do not have access to drinking water, health care, education, and a dignified job.

But how can we ensure access to food and drinking water, health, and education for all? How can we ensure the protection of biodiversity and fight against climate change?

This is why finding a new model of sustainable development is urgent.

Human societies will have to enter a transition and rethink all their activities. Many actors are already engaged in this transition towards a mode of operation that is more respectful of the environment and human beings.

The actors of sustainable development

Everyone is concerned by this transition to a new, more sustainable model of society. The different actors who are already acting, at their own level, by carrying out sustainable development actions are the citizens: children, young people, parents, etc…, the eco-delegates in high schools and colleges, educational institutions: schools, colleges, high schools, universities, campuses, associations and clubs, companies, farmers, local authorities: cities, departments, regions…, the State, the European Union, and many others… 

We are all concerned with sustainable development, so let’s move together toward a new model of society that is more respectful of the environment.

The Best Eco-Friendly Humidifiers

Do you suffer from nasal congestion, dry skin, or colds every winter? It can happen to anyone! That’s why we like to start the season off well by investing in a dependable humidifier. Humidifiers keep us warm and hydrated by adding just the right amount of moisture to the air.

While Vicks and Dyson’s humidifiers are popular, they aren’t necessarily the most environmentally friendly since they sometimes require plastic filters or a lot of power. Instead, these are the finest humidifiers for an environmentally conscious house that use energy-saving technology, paper filters (or none at all! ), and automated controls. Many are dual-purpose air purifiers and humidifiers and humidifiers and diffusers—perfect for the winter!

Check out these eco-friendly air purifiers if you want two different units. Better still, try these indoor plants that are naturally clean and provide moisture to your home’s air!

Diffuser, Oil, Aroma, Sleep

1. The Canopy

Excell at purifying and humidifying the air. Paper filters, incorporated UV lamps, sophisticated sensors, replacement filter subscription accessible, USB-C charger are just a few of the features.

Size | 500 sq. Ft. and up

Price: $150.00

Look no further than Canopy for a healthy humidifier for both the air and your health. It cools down rooms up to 500 square feet for up to 36 hours of continuous use while also utilizing anti-mold and UV sensor technology to ensure that the air is as pure as possible.

This air purifier and humidifier combo will aid with dryness and dullness, nasal congestion and cough, and scent diffusion as required. For the most environmentally friendly clean, it exclusively utilizes paper filters.

2. Vornado

Ideal for medium-sized areas. Energy-efficient, with auto-humidity management and water-level sensors, as well as 5- and 10-year warranties.

Size | 750 sq. Ft. feet

Cost | $89.99

We like the energy-efficient humidifier from Vornado, prominent air circulation and humidifier manufacturer. The EVDC3000 humidifier uses 90% less energy than a standard Dyson or Vicks humidifier and can cover up to 750 square feet at once. We like that it includes auto-humidity management, low water indications, and a long guarantee, all for less than $100.

3. Missed Global

Wireless, transportable power bank, two nano-mist adjustable sprays, USB charger, seven-color lights, numerous warranties, and a 30-day trial return policy. Best known for its power & mobility.

Size | Up to 150 sq. ft.

Cost | $85

Missed Stella, one of three models in a series from Global, combines power and mobility for the greatest air care. It’s a 12-hour-running wireless air humidifier that’s ideal for the office, bedroom, or even the vehicle for road trips. Are you looking for something that is quick-acting, low-maintenance, and portable? And cleaning it takes less than 30 seconds? Consider us perplexed.

4. Objecto

It can be used without a filter. It is remote-controlled, has an automatic shut-off feature, and has a detachable water tank.

Size | Up to 800 sq. ft.

Cost | $299.99

The Objecto H9 Tower Hybrid Humidifier is one of the few filter-free humidifiers on the market, which means no single-use accessories are required. With a height of three feet, it provides tremendous coverage of up to 800 square feet. Even though it’s an investment, this hybrid humidifier comes with remote control, scent settings, automatic shut-off, and nearly 22 hours of continuous use.

5. Essentique

Made in the USA with earth-friendly materials, essential oil diffuser, automatic shut off

Size | Up to 500 sq. Ft. 

Price | $120

If you like humidifiers and diffusers, check out the all-in-one Essentique Casa Aroma Diffuser. It produces 2.5 million ultrasonic vibrations each second, releasing clean, fresh air that is perfumed with your favorite essential oil. It’s as functional as stylish, with multiple color options, an LED light, and a porcelain base. It’s a pleasant approach to obtaining a good night’s sleep because it has an automatic shut-off.

Do you find any of these humidifiers interesting? Let us know in the comments…

low-energy house

What Is a Low Energy House?


    – What is a low-energy house?

    – Maximum consumption target for a low-energy house

    – How to obtain the low-energy house qualification?

    – The interest of the low-energy house label

The low-energy house is a construction that meets the energy performance criteria of the low-energy building. The low-energy house qualification is obtained by studies, tests and measurements of the amount of energy required to live comfortably in the house, taking into account heating, cooling, ventilation, among others.

What is a low-energy house?

Initially, the low-energy label was launched as part of a study aimed at reducing the energy consumption of buildings and consequently limiting the level of greenhouse gas emissions from housing and real estate.

Subsequently, the low-energy house was defined to set a maximum consumption target for new residential buildings (apartment buildings and single-family homes) set at 50 kWhep/m²/year (kilowatt-hours of oil equivalent per m² of floor area per year).

The latest thermal regulations in force have made this objective of compliance with low-energy requirements to any new construction whose building permit was filed as from 2012.

Good to know: low-energy house applies to buildings that fall into class A of the energy label of the performance diagnosis.

Maximum consumption target for a low-energy house

low-energy house

The maximum consumption target of 50 kWhep/m²/year in primary energy is a base to be modulated according to:

    – the coefficient of a climatic zone (coefficient A), because the geographical position of the house on the territory influences its needs in heating and possibly in cooling (air conditioning);

    – the altitude coefficient (coefficient B) varies according to the altitude at which the house is located.

For each dwelling, the maximum primary energy consumption to receive the low-energy standards qualification of the building is measured according to the formula: 50 × (a + b).

The coefficient A can take 8 different values from 0.8 (hot regions) to 1.3 (cold regions). Thus, in hot regions, the limit of low-energy will be (50 × 0.8) = 40 kWhep/m²/year of maximum consumption in primary energy. In cold regions, it can reach (50 × 1.3) = 65 kWhep/m²/year.

The coefficient B is zero (0) for altitudes between sea level and 400 m; it will then be 0.1 up to 800 m altitudes, then 0.2 beyond 800 m.

How to qualify as a low-energy house?

The houses and apartments must meet the requirements of maximum primary energy consumption and pass the air permeability test of the construction carried out by the infiltrometry technique.

Primary energy consumption

The calculation of primary energy consumption considers the consumption of heating, cooling, ventilation, auxiliary equipment, production of domestic hot water and lighting.

The impact of the more or less green energy source used to calculate primary energy is essential. By convention, for 1 kWh of energy produced, the quantity of direct energy consumed is 0.6 kWh for wood and 2.58 kWh for electricity.

Blower door test

For the final blower door test, the value of the leakage rate through the envelope under a pressure difference of 4 Pa must be less than 0.6 m3/h.m² for a single-family house.

When is it required?

To obtain the low-energy label, you must act from the beginning of the project on all the levers of the entire construction of the house (shape, orientation, materials, insulation …) but also its equipment (heating, hot water, ventilation, lighting …) and the use of renewable energy (at least one device using renewable energy per single-family home built).

Note: the calculation of primary energy consumption and the final blower door test must be carried out by certified professionals, such as a design office or real estate diagnostician.

The interest of the low-energy house label

A low-energy house entitles you to benefits when you buy a new home, built to low-energy standards and even when you rent it.

In renovation, many energy renovation aids apply to insulation work. The eco-conditionality is met, and the work is carried out by companies or artisans recognized as environmental guarantors.

Read more:

Towards Sustainability | Building Your Home With Natural Materials

The "to-Do List" of Things to Stop Doing

The “to-Do List” of Things to Stop Doing

The “to-Do List” of Things to Stop Doing

Let’s be clear when we say “not to do anymore”, we must understand, “to temper or slow down considerably”. The consumer society has created a multitude of needs in our lives. The question today is whether or not we are strong enough to say “stop” or whether we prefer to continue to keep our blinders on, making us, in the end, selfish.

So, what do you think? Would you be willing to:

1. Eat less meat

The idea of becoming vegetarian, vegan, or vegetarian overnight puts the followers of these dietary practices directly in the extremist box. Imposing is not the right method. It is better to explain, to show, to repeat, rather than to impose.

In the case of meat, two factors come into play: pollution and animal suffering. Regarding pollution, it is essential to know that to produce one kilo of beef, the greenhouse gases emitted are equivalent to a 60 km car journey and require between 20 and 50 times more water than what is needed to produce one kilo of wheat or rice.

Regarding animal suffering, we have always been comforted that only cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, and birds were pets, worthy of having feelings. Other animals were considered wild and destined to be eaten, regardless of their age. But, unfortunately, we have to accept what we have on our plates to make a difference.

So, if eating meat is not vital, it may be that it remains unavoidable for reasons of terroir, roots, etc. The idea is not to eliminate it, but to consume less and better quality meat so that our food looks more like it should. At present, our children consume too much meat and proteins, according to a study conducted by Greenpeace and relayed by the Food Observatory. Our eating is no longer vital; it is a need created by the consumer society, thus generating a multitude of diseases—obesity and diabetes in particular.

2. Get rid of your car?

The "to-Do List" of Things to Stop Doing

Sell your car and use public transportation. Could you do it? The vehicle is accused of releasing an average of 2.5 tons of CO2 per year. The proposed alternative solutions (hybrid cars, electric cars, etc.) are only a shadow of so-called “sustainable” vehicles. Ten years ago, almost half of the people said they were ready to leave the car in the garage. Today, the number of vehicles in the world is constantly increasing and is on the way to reaching 2 billion.

While the public transport craze still bothers some users, the government is not doing anything to reverse the trend. However, there are incentives to buy an electric bike or ride a bike to work every day!

3. Don’t take the plane anymore?

Flying is undeniably polluting. It would help if you only did national air travel in case of emergency. The idea of making airlines pay a pollution tax would be pure nonsense since, in the end, it would be passed on to the ticket price, and therefore to the consumer. So what to do? Ban them? Too many economic stakes… What if reason and common sense were finally enough to decide? Flying, yes, but not every day and not on national routes.

Flying is not only harmful. It can also motivate new experiences, such as discovering certain civilizations, visiting family, etc. Of course, it is sometimes possible to use other modes of transportation, more respectful of the planet.

But in some cases, the plane is almost unavoidable, like going to the other side of the planet. It’s all about balance. If you have to fly once a year, try to balance your carbon impact by eating less meat, driving less daily, or funding a tree-planting organization accordingly, for example.

4. Consume better?

This is the simplest effort to make and the starting point for taking a more ecological approach to our daily lives. Better consumption has repercussions on at least three factors: economic, environmental, and sanitary.

Consuming tomatoes in winter is not normal. Consuming products from Asia or Africa every day is not normal either. Of course, if you eat one pineapple a month, your impact will be almost zero. However, if you eat avocados at practically every meal, the consequences are not the same.

Eating local and in season does not prevent you from having a mango once in a while. But the idea is to favor the cycle of nature and consume what it offers us in real-time. It is also necessary to put on one’s apron, try recipes, and start cooking again to become aware of what we eat and eat better. Forget about overpriced, fatty, salty, and sweet prepared meals. Going back to basics is within everyone’s reach, even if you are not a cordon bleu and don’t necessarily have the time to cook elaborate meals.

Organic food is becoming more and more popular, but here again, be careful, not all labels are equal, and sometimes a vegetable grown by a market gardener near you without an organic label is often of better quality (and cheaper!) than a vegetable with an organic label sold in a supermarket.

Moreover, consuming food by limiting over-packaging is also beneficial. The hunt for single-use plastic is on, so why not use the many alternatives that exist today? Reusable bottles, food films with beeswax, washable paper towels… are habits to adopt to change things at home and thus have a less polluting impact on the planet.

As for non-food products, repairing rather than throwing away to buy again is also an option to be favored to make objects last in time and save money.

5. Downsizing your wardrobe?

The "to-Do List" of Things to Stop Doing

The minimalist trend has followers all over the world. However, brands are still very much alive, even though some have very un-human practices to design their clothes (low wages, child labor, fur, dyes harmful to health, wastewater discharges into rivers, etc.). After the oil industry, the textile industry remains the most polluting in the world.

Some brands are now “green” and show their difference while following the fashion; they tempt fashionistas to jump the gun and assume their passion for ecology. Therefore, buying less and better is also valid for the dressing room.

6. Consume water sensibly

Taking a bath costs not only a lot of money but also wastes a lot of water. Showers are the best alternative for washing. Many tax credits or aids are now available for water heating retrofits. Thermodynamic water heaters, solar water heaters… allow real savings, quickly making the initial investment profitable.

Teaching children to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth or rubbing their hands is very easy, especially if you take the time to explain to them why you are doing it. Fortunately or unfortunately, the best (or worst) habits are formed and kept for life at a very young age. Think about it!

Thinking that abundance is unlimited is a utopia. Thinking that possessing something gives meaning to life is just as utopian. Consuming less, in general, is good for the planet, for the wallet, and people. So, what do you think? Would you be ready to make such changes in your life to save the planet?